Further to our statement below, Amnesty International UK's Director Kate Allen today said:
“Amnesty no longer considers it appropriate to share a public platform with Cage and will not engage in coalitions of which Cage is a member.
“Recent comments made by Cage representatives have been completely unacceptable, at odds with human rights principles and serve to undermine the work of NGOs, including Amnesty International.”
She continued: "We had engaged with Cage together with several other organisations on the specific issue of UK complicity in torture abroad, on which they had particular expertise.
"At the time that Gita Sahgal left Amnesty International, we commissioned an independent external review into our work with Cage and Moazzam Begg which concluded that it was reasonable for Amnesty to campaign with Cage and Moazzam Begg in his capacity as a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay.
"Gita’s view was that it was inappropriate for Amnesty International to share a platform with individuals and organisations whose religious or political views were inconsistent with the full range of rights and women’s rights in particular. Amnesty International has never questioned the integrity of this view or the sincerity with which Gita held it. However, it is not uncommon for NGOs to enter into coalitions with other organisations or groups on one specific issue despite their disagreement on others.
"Based on an extensive review of comments made by Cage Prisoners (as it was then known) then available to the public, we concluded that limited cooperation with Cage on the narrow issue of accountability for UK complicity in torture abroad was appropriate, given their consistent and credible messaging on this issue.
"Comments made by Cage recently have clearly changed that assessment and have led to our decision to terminate such relations. But this does not alter the fact the decision in 2010 to continue this limited work was taken for good reasons and after extensive reflection. Further to that, the refusal of a Cage spokesperson to condemn violence such as FGM and stoning – themselves examples of torture and degrading treatment that we are campaigning for an end to – is of huge concern to Amnesty and has made any future platform sharing with Cage impossible.”
On 2 March, responding to questions about Amnesty International's relationship to Cage, Allen said:
“Amnesty has no formal or financial relationship with Cage.
“Amnesty has, along with a number of others human rights organisations, worked on issues relating to Guantánamo and torture.
“This has included being co-signatories on letters calling for an independent, judge-led inquiry into UK complicity in torture.
“We support the call for a torture inquiry. We do not support all of Cage’s views or agree with how it expresses them.
“We are reviewing whether any future association with the group would now be appropriate.
“It is important to be absolutely clear that Amnesty unequivocally believes that nothing can ever justify joining ISIS or act as an apology for its horrific human rights abuses, and we condemn all such attempts to do this.
“It is vital that we continue to focus our efforts on documenting the horrific and widespread human rights abuses being perpetrated in Syria and Iraq.
“We want the focus to be on the protection of civilians and proper justice, including at the International Criminal Court."