This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.





The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Amnesty chief executive resigns after racism controversy

This news post is about 1 year old
 

Report found instances of institutional racism at the group

Amnesty International’s chief executive has stood down two months earlier than planned amid controversy over institutional racism and bullying.

Katie Allen announced she would quit the post in September, but has told staff she will now be leaving immediately after calls for her to step down.

In April an internal review by Amnesty’s secretariat concluded there was a culture of white privilege at the organisation, with incidents of overt racism including senior staff using the N-word and micro-aggressive behaviour such as the touching of black colleagues’ hair.

It came as eight current and former employees of Amnesty International UK (AIUK) described their own experiences of racial discrimination and issued a statement calling on senior figures to stand down.

One of the whistleblowers, Katherine Odukoya, said: “We joined Amnesty hoping to campaign against human rights abuses but were instead let down through realising that the organisation actually helped perpetuate them.”

Representatives of both arms of the UK-based human rights organisation apologised and pledged to make changes, with the director of AIUK citing “the uncomfortable fact that we have not been good enough”.

Sacha Deshmukh has been announced as AIUK’s interim chief executive and will lead the charity until at least January next year while it searches for a permanent successor.

Deshmukh was previously executive director of Unicef UK, but resigned after less than six months in the role having made claims of bullying behaviour against the charity’s then-chair, Douglas Alexander.

An independent inquiry subsequently rejected the claims against Alexander.

Deshmukh said: “I want to create an inclusive and rights-respecting culture which allows the brilliant people who work and volunteer for Amnesty to thrive.”

It will also recruit for a new role, director of investments.

 

Comments

0 0
Brian Ballard
5 months ago

Laughing my head off

0 0
Christina Hunter
5 months ago

There is no such thing as "YOU PEOPLE" We are all PEOPLE. Extending love and understanding to all people makes EVERYONES lives better!!!!

0 0
Gina
5 months ago

Hey no y is jumping the ‘racist bandwagon’ They are just speaking up to what is wrong. And it’s ok to be proud of who you are. Why are you all obsessed with the black gir hair? Why can’t you accept the fact that it’s over for bigots like you. Well well listen to them. Why would you have Amnesty International who are they looking out for?

0 0
Christina Hunter
5 months ago

There is no such thing as "YOU PEOPLE". We are all the same PEOPLE. Sharing love and understanding to EVERYONE makes us all live happier and better lives.

0 0
Dale
5 months ago

As bad as AI is on racism, Human rights watch is worse all around. HRW actively foments discords in developing/non-white countries to justify its own existence. Follow the funding of all these orgs to understand their purpose.

0 0
Stafford
5 months ago

Hey Dixie, not because it doesn’t offends you doesn’t mean it’s not there. Emancipate yourself from racism!

0 0
Ohene Yiadom
5 months ago

In late 1990s or early 2000s, I visited Amnesty office in San Francisco for immigration case help and a young Latina lady told me sourly, "We do not help people like you." Her boss who was a Latina man actually marched me out of the office, after I insisted on getting help. I called Amnesty headquarters to report this incident. Needless to say, the report was to no avail. Ohene Boakye-Yiadom

0 0
Christine Sullivan
5 months ago

ABS Davis is WRONG this isn’t a Democratic leaning or supported org Amnesty is based in London and is International not based here anymore than it’s based in Lithuania. I agree the employers or management at the London office and elsewhere are real turds. Give mini to hard working intelligent organizations like Hunan Rights Watch if you care about International human rights

0 0
Stephen Sacks
5 months ago

Mazel Tov. At Amnesty International anti-Semitism is celebrated, but being white is a capital offense.

0 0
Janice
5 months ago

“You People” and then to act as if it’s ok to violate someone’s personal space by touching their hair. 😯 Racist much? FYI. Touch our hair is a violation. Period. Has anyone asked to touch yours? Doubt it.

0 0
Stafford
5 months ago

Hey Dixie, not because it doesn’t offends you doesn’t mean it’s not there. Emancipate yourself from racism!

0 0
Stafford
5 months ago

Hey Dixie, not because it doesn’t offends you doesn’t mean it’s not there. Emancipate yourself from racism!

0 0
Peter
5 months ago

I guess they leave no room for discussion or change. "Once a thief always a thief"? Or is it "Get out of that seat. I want to sit there." I wouldn't exclude an element of selfishness in these standoffs.

0 0
Bluto
5 months ago

Micro aggressions? LOL what a bunch of toads

0 0
Christina Hunter
5 months ago

There is no such thing as "YOU PEOPLE" We are all PEOPLE. Extending love and understanding to all people makes EVERYONES lives better!!!!

0 0
Lex freund
5 months ago

Now why hasn't this been publicized in the media and as part of the wel deserved criticism of AI. AI simply has no credibility.

0 0
Steve
5 months ago

In another desperate attempt at making itself relevant Amnesty hurls racist abuse at Israel and Jews by screaming " apartheid " from an open window in their ivory tower. Accusing Israel of apartheid is scraping the barrel of decency !! It is an accusation steeped in racism and is totally untrue. Amnesty, together with HRW seem to have been " perverted " and need to be deposited into the rubbish bin of history !!

0 0
Craig
5 months ago

Amnesty International? Well I guess it's that duplicity concept is at work again. Show the World you want them to see, but actually be the opposite. I'm really not surprised. So, to the offenders is it just a job. Sounds like AI needs a lay-off. A big one.

0 0
carl g silverman
5 months ago

Hello, this is a SNL skit, yes? their credibility is zero now. they called out Israel for defending themselves. theyre risking being replaced by who knows what with another agenda. the Dalai Lama is truly compassionate...AI are fools

0 0
Rory
about 1 year ago

I'm glad TFN published what actually happened rather than referring cryptically to racist 'incidents'. Amnesty is perennially being accused of antisemitism for its stance against setting Arabs on fire so it wasn't clear what side to be on from reading some other news sources. I was already drifting away from Amnesty because of its reluctance to criticize other rich countries too e.g. when it stopped working with Cage in the UK, its near silence on Guantanamo. I think it's clear now that we should be giving to other charities in the field such as Human Rights Watch as well as to Effective Altruism causes.

0 0
Joe Jackson
5 months ago

BS Davis You said it all!;

0 0
Janice
5 months ago

You people get so uppity over nothing. Someone touched someone's hair? OK. So? What's wrong?

0 0
W. Anderson
5 months ago

What most of the commenters seem to miss - by a mile - is that institutional racism is prevalent in almost every western so-called democratic government and institution, therefore making a mockery of any talk of equality, respect for each other as equivalent beings with same god given talents.

What contribution are these commenters making to these humanitarian ideals and goals, rather than just tearing down one proven idiot organization or entity.

0 0
Gilda Provenzano
5 months ago

Look at all the racist CONservative clowns

0 0
B.S. Davis
5 months ago

Typical phony Democrat aligned organization that exists so Democrat media has someone to mouth their policy back at them. It’s all about money and the donors who are the usual white liberal feel good do good racists. Hopefully this organization will just disappear although that never seems to happen - they just get govt grants which makes them immortal.

0 0
Geena
5 months ago

“Stop jumping on the racist bandwagon. Regards from A PROUD WHITE”! Okay “Dixie”. 😵‍💫🤣🤣

0 0
Chris
5 months ago

When in doubt scream racism.