Human rights groups should not criticise each other
Stabroek News
May 1, 2002

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Dear Editor,

The Chronicle recently ran article on its front page which claimed that the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) disagreed with Amnesty International's scolding of the Guyana Government. Initially, I was hesitant to accept the publication since the Chronicle is a Government owned entity.

I would like to attribute more credit to the GHRA, certainly such a reputable organisation would not allow itself to be manipulated in this manner. I fully support the right to disagree with the course of action taken by another human rights body, however they should focus their letter writing and criticism on more egregious causes.

It is highly unusual for human rights groups to publicly challenge their sister counterparts. This only serves to disenfranchise our collective works, detract from the bigger picture and as a consequence we all are negatively impacted.

It is curious to note that the GHRA could be accused of being selective of the causes they choose to champion. A case in point; their silence and inaction during the Gays struggle in Guyana to pass the amendment to the Constitution, which would've afforded this minority group an opportunity of protection and fair treatment.

A recommendation for the GHRA; support the parts of Amnesty International's release upon which you are in agreement and ignore the rest. Your inappropriate criticism of a sister agency seems to have more to do with territorial jockeying than anything of merit.

Yours faithfully,

Berkeley Van Bowen

International Human Rights Watch