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Salil Shetty will be first Indian to head Amnesty
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Lathesh Suryakantha

Salil Shetty will be first Indian to head Amnesty

Global human rights watchdog Amnesty International has appointed Salil Shetty, an Indian who headed the UN Millennium Campaign, as its next secretary-general. Shetty will take over in June 2010, succeeding Irene Khan, who stepped down after eight years as Amnesty secretary-general on December 31, 2009.

Shetty is a former resident of Bangalore. A close associate of his family said he went to St Joseph’s College in Bangalore and studied cost accounting at Bangalore University.

“I feel privileged to be given this amazing opportunity at a time when the world needs human rights for all more than ever before,” said Shetty, who becomes the first Indian to head the human rights body.

Amnesty said Shetty, with a strong track record in the non-government and inter-government sectors, will lead its 50th anniversary expansion plans.

“We are thrilled that Salil will be joining us and leading Amnesty International as we renew our fight to end injustice — campaigning with those imprisoned because of their ideas, those on death row, those being tortured, and those who have their rights denied because they live in poverty,” said Peter Pack, the chair of Amnesty’s International Executive Committee.

“Salil has a solid track record in mobilizing people, civil society, governments and international organizations in the fight for people’s rights and dignity,” added Pack.
Shetty joined the United Nations in 2003 as director of the Millennium Campaign from ActionAid — an international development organisation. He had joined ActionAid in 1985 and was part of more than 30 programmes in Africa, Asia and across other developing regions.

Source: Times of India

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