Novelist Salman Rushdie on Sunday joined the growing chorus of criticism of Amnesty International for working with a suspected Islamist group, Cageprisoners, formed by a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Moazzam Begg.
He accused Amnesty of “moral bankruptcy'' saying it had done “incalculable damage'' to its reputation.
His remarks follow the row over the suspension of Gita Sahgal, head of Amnesty's gender unit, for raising her concerns on the issue in public. Mr. Rushdie, who was strongly backed by Amnesty when he faced death threats following the Iranian fatwa over his controversial book The Satanic Verses, was reported by The Sunday Times as saying Amnesty had failed to distinguish right from the wrong in supporting Cageprisoners.
“It looks very much as if Amnesty's leadership is suffering from a kind of moral bankruptcy and has lost the capacity to distinguish right from the wrong,'' he said.
Amnesty's U.K. director Kate Allen said it took Mr. Rushdie's criticism “seriously'' but would continue to campaign for “universal respect'' for human rights.
Cageprisoners, which campaigns for the rights of Guantanamo Bay prisoners, has been accused of having links with pro-jihadi elements.