LATELY — 28 May 2004

What makes an "emergency request"?

Earlier this week I got an email from Amnesty International with the subject “Emergency request for help - No Excuse for Torture.” It urged me to make and “emergency contribution” and/or sign a petition asking the Australia government to ensure that all allegations are investigated, and that those responsible are brought to justice.

As far as I can recall, this is the very first such “emergency request” I’ve received from Amnesty. I figure there are only two ways to read this unprecendented act, one unflattering to Amnesty, the other unflattering to their members: either Amnesty believes that torture at Abu Ghraib by US troops is the most outrageous (or under-publicised?) act of torture on the planet today, and therefore especially deserving on Amnesty’s attention, or they figure that Abu Ghraib has made members remember (or realise) just what a bad thing torture is, and have taken the opportunity to solicit donations.