Amnesty International has responded to critics of its new human rights campaign, which features manipulated photos of Iggy Pop, the Dalai Lama and fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld being tortured into saying questionable things like “the future of rock ‘n’ roll is Justin Bieber” and “a man who does not have a Rolex watch at 50 years old has failed in his life.” (Care to guess which one is the longtime Stooges frontman?)
Here is their complete statement, along with the ads in question…
To generate awareness about our campaign against torture, Amnesty International Belgium French speaking section used an image of Iggy Pop without his authorization. Even though we acted in good faith, we would like to apologise to Iggy Pop for having done so.
The overall goal of this campaign is to try to influence people’s ideas on the use of torture. According to surveys, a shocking number of people believe that “torture may sometimes be useful” ; more than 36% of people even think that torture is justified in some cases. This is unacceptable, and we illustrate this reality with the message that a man who is tortured will say anything in order to escape this awfulness, using provocative images and statements to attract public attention. We would therefore also like to make it clear that the statement attributed to Iggy Pop that he believes Justin Bieber is the future of rock and roll does not represent Iggy Pop’s personal opinion but was part of the creative process for this campaign and was intended to be ironic.