Per Wastberg, who co-founded the Swedish branch of Amnesty International, resigned from the organization on Wednesday. The Swedish activist said his departure was due to Amnesty’s report about the conflict in Ukraine, and that the organization has gone beyond its original mandate to advocate for political prisoners.
“I have been a member for over 60 years. It is with a heavy heart that, due to Amnesty’s statements regarding the war in Ukraine, I am ending a long and fruitful engagement,” Wastberg told the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, where he is an occasional columnist.
“From its inception, Amnesty worked for the freedom of political prisoners everywhere in the world,” said Wastberg, who co-founded the Swedish branch in 1964. “It has since gradually, sometimes debatably, expanded its mandate” and become a different kind of organization, he added.
Amnesty has faced a torrent of criticism after publishing a report on August 4 that said Ukraine was deliberately placing troops and military vehicles in residential areas and hospitals. The report was based on research in eastern Ukraine, from April to July.