Amnesty puts Mugabe and Tasers in the dock

A call for 'rigorous testing' of non-lethal Taser guns and promotion of an undercover video showing Zimbabwe's slum clearance programme pushed Amnesty International to the top of August's NGO Watch.

After the news that the police force in Wales is to be equipped with Taser guns capable of incapacitating suspects with an electric charge, Amnesty sounded alarm bells in the Welsh Assembly. It produced statistics showing that 150 people in North America have been killed by the devices.

The group also hit the headlines when it produced video footage of starving and homeless Zimbabweans affected by president Robert Mugabe's brutal 'Drive Out Filth' programme.

Friends of the Earth took on BAA Stansted over its plans to expand the East Midlands airport. The group took the line that as well as environmental damage, expansion would rob local businesses of £3.8bn in revenue as more people went abroad for short trips.

Age Concern jumped to number three in the table after latching on to the 'hygiene in hospitals' issue.

NGO WATCH - August 2005 ranking Ranking NGO No of mentions 1 Amnesty International 58 2 Friends of the Earth 49 3 Age Concern 47 4 Oxfam 41 5 British Heart Foundation 38 6 Greenpeace 23 7 WWF 20 8 RSPB 17 9 ActionAid 14 10 Royal British Legion 13 Source: Infonic.

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