A SENIOR leader from Amnesty International is seeking nomination to run for the SNP in the Scottish elections next year.

Osama Bhutta was the SNP’s Glasgow Central candidate in 2010 – he has worked for the party in both Edinburgh and Westminster.

Bhutta has spent the last decade directing global communications for the world’s largest human rights organisation Amnesty, and has also worked in the Middle East for broadcaster Al Jazeera. He has said his campaign will be rooted in the human rights struggle he’s always been involved in, although his campaign is a personal initiative not backed by the fiercely non-party political NGO.

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He said: “I’ve had the honour to work with people campaigning for freedom in places like Hong Kong and the Middle East and women’s rights advocates in South Asia and South America.

“Over the years I’ve found myself urging people to get involved in their countries’ political processes.

“Recently I’ve been reflecting that I should take my own advice and campaign closer to home. The world is an angry place through inequality, corruption and pollution.

“A Scotland which has won its freedom on the back of a campaign centred on environmentalism and people’s wellbeing is going to be an exciting force.

“Scotland needs to be independent in the world, but the world also needs an independent Scotland. We all need to think about what we can do to bring that about, and for me that might mean stopping what I’m currently doing to stand for parliament.”

Bhutta, however, warned that independence supporters have become too obsessed over “Plan B” and mechanisms by which independence will be achieved rather than why they want it and the active role they need to play to achieve it.

In an article in today’s National he writes: “This is not a time for squabbling, it’s time for organising. Film maker Ava DuVernay recently recounted a story from legendary civil rights activist John Lewis who passed away in recent weeks.

“She asked him what activists should be doing at this moment. His reply: ‘Do everything’.

“Independence won’t be won by parliamentary process alone, but MSPs and MPs have an important role.

“They should see parliamentary politics as part of mass organising, not the other way around.

“Right now though, there seems to be too a large gap between parliament and the street.”

Bhutta says he doesn’t have a constituency in mind. “I could locate anywhere. The idea of coming back may be slightly crazy, but let’s see.”