39 days to go…Mass appeal…Amnesty’s understanding of abortion uncovered

The video below is from the Amnesty International Ireland  / AII tent at the Electric Picnic Rock Festival.

Amnesty International Ireland ran the ‘My Body my rights’ campaign with a grant from George Soros’ Open Society Foundation  / O.S.F. which the Standards in Public Office / S.I.P.O. compelled them to return as it was being used for political campaigning illegally. 

In a leaked document, George Soros’ O.S.F. said it was funding Amnesty, the Irish Family Planning Association and the Abortion Rights Campaign (which later gave back its €23,000 grant) “to work collectively on a campaign to repeal Ireland’s constitutional amendment granting equal rights to an implanted embryo as the pregnant woman. With one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, a win there could impact other strongly Catholic countries in Europe, such as Poland, and provide much needed proof that change is possible, even in highly conservative places,” the document stated.

Legal counsel for Amnesty in its challenge against the Standards in Public Office, said the purpose of the donation was to fund Amnesty’s 2016 campaign ‘My Body My Rights’ campaign,  whose purpose included “to increase public support for repealing the Eighth Amendment, collaborate with other groups working on access to safe and legal abortion. No referendum on the Eighth Amendment was planned or had been called when the donation was made”. Amnesty fears reputational damage and financial hardship, counsel said. 

So according to Amnesty, the money wasn’t being used for political campaigning you see….

Below is a video from Amnesty International Ireland itself on the Electric Picnic campaign starting with its campaign for signatures to repeal the 8th. Which in case there is any confusion about this, by the way is not political campaigning…

 

 

Full article below on the challenge by Amnesty and interesting double speak…..

https://www.rte.ie/news/2018/0212/940173-amnesty-sipo/

Counsel said that media reports in 2016 on leaked documents from OPF suggested that the funding was part of a strategy to force the repeal of the Eighth Amendment. SIPO then wrote to Amnesty referring to obligations under the Electoral Act.

Counsel said Amnesty told SIPO the donation was not for political purposes. 

Amnesty International has brought a High Court challenge against the Standards in Public Office Commission’s order that it return a Swiss based foundation’s donation of €137,000 for a campaign to increase support for a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.

The donation was made in August 2015 by the Open Society Foundations (OSF), a body founded by businessman George Soros, for the Irish based strand of Amnesty’s, “My Body, My Rights” campaign.

The objectives of the campaign included increasing support among politicians for the holding of a referendum on the Eighth Amendment and provide a human rights compliant abortion framework.

The campaign included lobbying politicians and organising events and seminars for politicians before the 2016 General Election aimed at having the Eighth Amendment appealed.

Last November, the Standards in Public Office Commission directed Amnesty to return the money after finding the donation was prohibited under Section 23 A2 of the 1997 Electoral Act after deeming it to be a donation for political purposes.

Amnesty denies the funds were used for political purposes and says SIPO’s decision is flawed, and should be set aside.

As a result, Amnesty International’s Irish section, CLG, has brought proceedings against both SIPO, Ireland and the Attorney General where it seeks to quash SIPO’s decision.

It also seeks several declarations including that SIPO has acted in error of law, in excess of its jurisdiction, misdirected itself as to the interpretation of Electoral, has failed to give adequate reasons for its decision and has acted irrationally and unreasonably.

It further seeks declarations that it should not have to repay the money, that SIPO has breached both Articles 40.3 and 43 of the Irish Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights and EU law.

On Monday, Brian Murray SC, instructed by Daragh O’Donovan of Orpen Franks Solicitors, for Amnesty said  the challenge raises many complex legal issues concerning the interpretation of the Electoral Act.

“Amnesty and other NGO’s are extremely concerned about the implications of the decision,” counsel said.

Counsel said the purpose of the donation was to fund Amnesty’s 2016 campaign, whose purpose included to increase public support for repealing the Eighth Amendment, collaborate with other groups working on access to safe and legal abortion.

No referendum on the Eighth Amendment was planned or had been called when the donation was made, counsel said.

Counsel said that media reports in 2016 on leaked documents from OPF suggested that the funding was part of a strategy to force the repeal of the Eighth Amendment. SIPO then wrote to Amnesty referring to obligations under the Electoral Act.

Counsel said Amnesty told SIPO the donation was not for political purposes.

However, the Commission said it received information and confirmation from the foreign donor that the money was for explicitly political purposes.

OSF has disputed that it provided written confirmation that the donation was for political purposes, and said that SIPO seemed to be basing its decision on an internal document for discussion that was made public after OSF was targeted by Russian hackers, counsel said.

Amnesty fears the matter could be referred to the Gardaí, leading to a possible criminal prosecution, if it does not return the money.

It also fears reputational damage and financial hardship as Amnesty does not have any significant reserves. The return of the money would have to come out of its current budget for 2018, counsel added.

Permission to bring the challenge was granted, on an ex-parte basis, by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan.

The Judge made the matter returnable to a date in April.

 

2 thoughts on “39 days to go…Mass appeal…Amnesty’s understanding of abortion uncovered

  1. Please good people see through this attempt by Amnasty and the Soros foundation to force abortion on Ireland. Protect your families and the unborn from these evil forces. God bless all.

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    • Thanks John, yes it’s pretty outrageous that the Soros money was used to increase pressure for a referendum and they are refusing to return the money received illegally as the actual referendum itself hadn’t been called and so this is not political campaigning according to them. The Mass and Fast for Ireland Team

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