Criminal investigation into Amnesty Ireland illegal abortion cash

Amnesty International Ireland is likely to face a criminal investigation over money donated by a fund backed by George Soros.

The money was donated to help Amnesty’s “My Body My Rights” campaign to overturn the Eighth Amendment that protects the unborn child’s right to life.

Ireland’s Standards in Public Office Commission (Sipo) has ordered Amnesty to pay back the €137,000 given to them by Soros’s Open Societies Foundation.

The grant contravenes electoral law.

The 1997 Electoral Act forbids donations of over €100 from overseas groups for “electoral purposes”.

Amnesty says it had been transparent about receiving the donation, and Sipo originally told them the payment did not break the law, and later reversed the decision.

Colm O’Gorman, who is the executive director of Amnesty in Ireland, says Amnesty will not return the money.

“We will consider every opportunity to challenge this decision. I have repeatedly made it clear that we will challenge this. We are really clear about this.

“This amounts to the targeting of organisations purely for their work on human rights and equality issues,” he says.

O’Gorman says the ruling “overlooks the fact that Amnesty International is completely independent of any political ideology, economic interest or religion”.

He says he thinks Sipo is being manipulated by pro-life activists.

Amnesty is taking legal advice on the matter, and says the Soros grant accounted for nearly 2.5 per cent of its total annual income.

Returning it would set “a dangerous precedent,” Amnesty claims.

Cora Sherlock of the Irish Pro-Life Campaign does not agree with O’Gorman’s views on the matter.

“Today’s statement from Amnesty is nothing more than a public relations exercise to disguise the fact that they have been receiving vast sums of money from abroad to fund their campaign to repeal the 8th Amendment.

“Amnesty are behaving like they are above the law and are hiding behind the term ‘human rights’ as a justification for everything they do.”

Sherlock says when it gave Amnesty the money, the Open Society Foundation said “it was to assist the coordination of groups in Ireland with a view to repealing the 8th Amendment and taking away legal protection for the baby in the womb,”.

She says the Open Society Foundation’s involvement “represents a gross interference in our democracy and in safeguarding the right to life.

“Amnesty should immediately return the money and stop trying to portray itself as a victim in all of this.”

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News category: World.

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