Amnesty International is a London-based non-governmental organization focused on human rights. The organization says it has more than seven million members and supporters around the world.
On Tuesday, the company reported that most of its top leaders would leave the rights group this year after an external audit, prompted by two staff suicides, found a “toxic” working culture.
Amnesty initiated the probe last August after Gaetan Mootoo, a well-known researcher, and paid intern Roz McGregor took their own lives within three months of each other that year.
Mootoo, who had been with the organisation for decades and was known across Africa for his tireless dedication to his work, killed himself in its Paris offices where he worked.
The 65-year-old left a suicide note allegedly “outlining his previous request for help because of the heavy and additional workload; help which was never forthcoming”.
McGregor, 28, a British intern working at Amnesty’s Geneva office, reportedly suffered from insomnia and anxiety, and took her own life at her family’s home near London six weeks after Mootoo’s death.
The human rights champion conceded the review painted “a sombre picture” of its own recent internal track record, following its release in January.
“To hear our employees speak of a culture of secrecy and mistrust where discrimination, bullying and abuse of power have been condoned is profoundly troubling,” Naidoo said in a statement.
The secretary-general unveiled his management restructuring at a meeting on May 9, with the departing directors set to have left by October, according to Amnesty.