Amnesty International says a sexually suggestive image of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg that spurred outrage last month raises wider human rights concerns. Thunberg is shown attending a rally at the Alberta Legislature Building in Edmonton, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley)

Amnesty International raises Greta sticker in letter to Trudeau, premiers

Secretary general decries ‘troubling pattern of … attacks against human rights defenders’

Amnesty International says a sexually suggestive decal appearing to show teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg raises wider human rights concerns.

The secretary general of the group’s Canadian arm mentions the decal in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and all premiers ahead of this week’s first ministers’ meeting in Ottawa.

Alex Neve says he wants Canada’s political leaders to commit to protecting human rights defenders, particularly women and Indigenous people.

Alberta’s premier, provincial cabinet ministers and members of the House of Commons have all panned the image on a sticker bearing the logo of Alberta company X-Site Energy Services.

The RCMP has called the decal distasteful but determined that it does not constitute a criminal offence, and X-Site has promised to do better.

ALSO READ: Albertans react to explicit decal of energy company logo, girl resembling Greta Thunberg

Neve writes that those responses can in no way be the end of the matter and urged the Alberta government to take further steps to investigate.

Neve had sent another letter to Kenney in September flagging human rights concerns about the government’s inquiry into the funding of environmental groups and war room challenging oil and gas industry critics. In it, he urged the Alberta government to hold industry players accountable for their human rights responsibilities.

“This is an important opportunity to do so,” Neve wrote in the March 5 letter to the prime minister and premiers.

But Neve said concerns the sticker has brought to light are not limited to Alberta, Thunberg, X-Site or the oil and gas industry.

“This is in fact reflective of a deeply troubling pattern of increasing levels of threats and attacks against human rights defenders worldwide … The nature and levels of threats and attacks against women and Indigenous human rights defenders is particularly disturbing.”

ALSO READ: Greta Thunberg hitches low-carbon ride across Atlantic

The sticker stirred global outrage when an image of it began circulating online last month. At the time, Thunberg said it showed critics of tougher climate action are becoming desperate. Former U.S. secretary of state and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told CNN she was “appalled” by it.

Alberta’s minister for the status of women, Leela Aheer, also called the graphic “completely deplorable, unacceptable and degrading” and Premier Jason Kenney called it “odious.”

When asked Wednesday about Neve’s latest letter, Kenney’s spokeswoman Christine Myatt said: “The premier and other members of the government denounced the sticker at the time.

“The government is preoccupied with the coronavirus pandemic and related economic consequences for our province.”

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Greta Thunberg

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIJHL season could start Oct. 1, says league president

League awaiting final approval from local health authorities and viaSport

First fall storm approaching Campbell River

The area is under a special weather statement for expected wind and rain

RCMP investigation underway under Tamarac Street

Campbell River RCMP is conducting an investigation under Tamarac Street in Campbell… Continue reading

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

‘Unprecedented’ coalition demands end to B.C. salmon farms

First Nations, commercial fishermen among group calling for action on Cohen recommendations

Earthquake off coast of Washington recorded at 4.1 magnitude

The quake was recorded at a depth of 10 kilometres

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Most Read