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

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Are you a senior needing help during COVID-19? These Chilliwack volunteers are here for you

Picking up groceries and phone chats are just some of the services being offered at no charge

Chilliwack Learning Society finds new way to get free books to kids amid COVID-19 pandemic

Debbie Denault is hoping others will join her in handing out free books in their own neighbourhoods

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

‘I love you this much’: Chilliwack firefighters share drone video on two-metre physical distancing

The Chilliwack Firefighters Association has been doling out helpful, visual reminders about COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Exercises move online with YMCA’s new nationwide virtual workout program

YThrive Home offers dozens of free workout videos for people during COVID-19 self-isolation period

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at Mission Institution; two other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, says correctional officer

B.C. community service provider hosts friendly art competition for youth

Theme for Pacific Community Resources contest is ‘finding the silver lining in difficult times’

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

TransLink to reduce service on some bus routes, SeaBus, West Coast Express

Changes start April 6 ‘due to low ridership and financial pressures’ amid COVID-19

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Most Read