You will have seen the news of the tragic and untimely death of Gaëtan Mootoo, our West Africa Researcher, based in our French section in Paris. This came as devastating news for the whole movement, and with greatsadness I would like to add a few words myself.
So many of us have known or worked closely with Gaëtan over his extraordinary 32 years at Amnesty, and have been enriched by the work and spirit of a true human rights champion. His loss will be felt deeply by many, not least those for whom he secured freedom and justice. No matter who you speak to about Gaëtan, you will hear the same stories about his compassion and kindness, his humanity and humility, his commitment and sensitivity to the people he served, and his deep knowledge of the region. I first spoke to Gaëtan very early in my time at Amnesty, and over the years we had many discussions about the human rights situation in West Africa and what we can do make a real difference. We travelled together to Mauritania on a high-level mission, which gave me a first-hand sense of his deep empathy with the communities at the grassroots level facing discrimination and violence.
Our thoughts are with his family at a terrible time for them.