October 11, 2003


Amnesty International secretary-general Irene Khan has told the BBC how her drive to widen the interests of the organization stems from her childhood in Bangladesh. Ms Khan, a Bangladeshi, who took over as head of Amnesty in August 2001, has expanded Amnesty's brief to include rights of women and refugees, in addition to the core campaigns against torture and wrongful imprisonment.

There is an ever increasing discrimination and violence against women, religious minorities and racial minorities in the world. According to Ms. Khan:

"We should act against that violence in the same way we should act against torture and prisons."

"Also there is a greater realization that human rights is not only about being free from arbitrary detention and having a right to a fair trial - it's also about having access to basic services, food, water, health, education."

"I myself, coming from a developing country and being a woman, am delighted that we are shifting in this direction,"

I think she is the right person to do the job and sincerely hope that she/AI achieves the goal.


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