Iraqi ‘abuse’ photos see human rights top table

The publication of photographs allegedly showing the abuse of Iraqi soldiers by coalition soldiers caused widespread outrage among human rights NGOs last month, driving the Red Cross, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to the top of April’s NGO Watch table.

The Red Cross was quick to express its concern over the torture allegations, visiting Saddam Hussein to ensure he was being held according to international law. The NGO also garnered coverage for its role in giving aid to victims of the North Korean train blast, ensuring its return to the top of the table.

Amnesty and Human Rights Watch also criticised the conduct of US and British troops in Iraq.

The former called for an independent public investigation into the ‘numerous’ complaints of Iraqi soldier abuse it claimed to have received, and the latter condemned the amount of bombs dropped by British aircraft on Iraq as a ‘significant cause’ of civilian casualties.

Friends of the Earth picked up 77 mentions after it accused tobacco giant BAT of ‘perverting’ the meaning of social responsibility by overstating its social and environmental performance. It was also joined by the RSPB in its high-profile campaign against plans to develop a ‘super-port’ in Essex on 65 hectares of wildlife habitat.

Greenpeace and Oxfam received similar levels of coverage for attacking the Government – Greenpeace over its calls to end the EU moratorium on GM maize and Oxfam over its refusal to reveal whether British firms have supplied components for Israeli Apache helicopters.

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