Leading repeal the 8th campaigners Amnesty does not consider itself engaging in work for “political purposes”
Amnesty International despite engaging in political campaigning has received funds of $150,000 from the US based Soros/Open Society Foundation as part of Soros/Open Society Foundation Plan to repeal the 8th Amendment and create a liberal abortion regime in Ireland. These funds were revealed by DC Leaks. The group received the grant in January 2016 after submitting an application to fund a project directed towards, among other things, the “strategic goal of garnering support for repeal of the Eighth Amendment of the Irish Constitution”. Amnesty International Ireland said the €137,000 it received was used to campaign for Ireland to “bring its law on abortion into compliance with international human rights law and standards”.
It is interesting that Amnesty International Ireland defended their acceptance of these campaign funds from the US-based organisation Soros/Open Society Foundations on the basis that Amnesty it does not consider itself to come under SIPO’s rules as Amnesty believes that its work does not constitute work for political purposes.
Here is a link to the correspondence between the Standards in Public Office Commission and Amnesty International Ireland obtained under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 showing the flow of correspondence between the State watchdog charged with dealing with illegal campaign funding and Amnesty International wherein Amnesty International Ireland states that it is not in receipt of any money given for “political purposes”. Here is a link to all the documents.
It is clear to anyone who cares to look at the website of Amnesty International Ireland that the purpose of the organisation is a political lobby group. For them to suggest otherwise is bizarre.
The fact that they are a political lobby group is simply proven by the fact they find it necessary for them to register as a lobbyist under the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015, which is under the remit of Standards and Public Standards Commission (SIPO). From examining the returns it can be clearly be seen that Amnesty International Ireland has found it necessary to make 49 lobbying returns to SIPO to date under the legislation. On examining the returns one will note that that eighteen of the returns to date relate to lobbying on the issue of abortion which is the purpose for which Open Society Foundations made the donation to Amnesty International Ireland. Here is a link to SIPO setting our Amnesty’s lobbying activities for 2016 and January 2017.
You can read the full documentation on issuu here.