UK under pressure over rights violations
The recent scathing report on human rights violations in Britain has intensified pressures on the UK coalition government for its double standards in dealing with rights issues.
In its annual ‘State of the World’s Human Rights’ report, Amnesty International heavily criticized the British government’s record at home. The NGO condemned the coalition government for rushing counter-terror and surveillance legislation through parliament without reasonable time for debate. It also criticized the coalition for passing laws that erode fundamental civil liberties, and stressed continued cuts to legal aid in Britain is a recipe for injustice.
Human rights activists say the report has cast serious doubt on UK claim to be one of the leading countries in promoting human rights across the globe.
“I think for sometime UK has not been able to claim with any confidence that is supporting international human rights. This is for several reasons. Some of the basic rights of the English people have disappeared under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown and David Cameron’s governments. In particular, right to a fair trial, many people are just detained without trial and the British have also got a dreadful record for covering up atrocities and torture, particularly on the Island of Diego Garcia,” The London-based human rights activist, William Spring told Press TV.
He then recalled that the UK had been the center of rendition flights during the so-called war on terror noting: ”The British have not condemned the massive genocidal attacks on Gaza last summer or any of the previous attacks. General British are accessories to wide range of human rights violations both in the Middle East as in for example in Bahrain and elsewhere around the world and also in Zimbabwe.”
Spring expressed concerns over growing state apparatus in UK adding:” This is a normal policy of UK government. Just to rush legislation through parliament with allowing debate, that’s just a normal tactic.”
He also criticized the mechanism of legislation in UK and said everything that is of major importance in Britain is not announced in parliament.
“It’s either announced on the media by the government or in some small written exchange or letter. The government simply refuses to go before parliament. And of course this is the problem of the Chilcot inquiry, the Chilcot inquiry was set up into the Iraq war about seven year ago and it’s still not reported. One of the leading members of the inquiry is now dead, so I don’t know whether all the inquiry members may be dead before the report is released,” he concluded.