I was startled to read in the Sept. 16 newspaper the Maine Compass by Aquib Yacoob about the incidents in Ferguson, Mo., “‘Innocent until proven guilty’ also should apply before trigger is pulled.”

I understood from his column that Amnesty International seems to be involved on a number of levels. Its mission apparently has been hijacked from what I understood it be when I made modest annual donations, and its role suggested by the newspaper articles about Ferguson appears quite different from what I took it to be in years past of throwing light on people held incommunicado and without being charged by governments with no respect for the rule of law or due process. Amnesty has an impressive record of marshaling public opinion and freeing such victims.

Today, according to its website, Amnesty International seems to go well beyond its earlier and commendable focus, symbolized by the burning candle.

I hope others do not misunderstand my position as aloofness from the tragedy, or tragedies, of Ferguson, just that the pursuit of knowledge is not well served with what the articles suggest may be predetermined agendas.

William G. Sayres


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