Amnesty International is defying the Irish Republic’s law by refusing to return a large donation from George Soros intended to be used in a campaign to overturn the Catholic country’s pro-life law.
The Republic of Ireland’s ethics watchdog, which enforces the country’s legislation, instructed the progressive organisation to return the €137,000 (£120,000/$161,000) to the Soros-run Open Society Foundations because the donation breaches the country’s laws prohibiting foreign donors contributing to political campaigns.
The donation is intended for Amnesty’s My Body My Rights campaign, which advocates repealing Ireland’s pro-life Eighth Amendment. The ‘civil society’ organisation’s chief executive in Ireland, Colm O’Gorman, told The Irish Times: “We’re being asked to comply with a law that violates human rights, and we can’t do that.”
“Ireland is targeting Amnesty International purely for its human rights work,” O’Gorman added. “This decision is an indefensible attack on human rights defenders, and shocking evidence of the real threat the Electoral Act poses to wider civil society organisations in Ireland.”
The Catholic republic is set to hold a referendum in Summer 2018 on whether to legalise abortion. Leo Varadkar, the country’s first openly gay prime minister, said the plebiscite would “give the people of Ireland the opportunity to remove our constitutional ban on abortion, should they wish to do so”…