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Amnesty International condemns UK for ‘abandoning human rights’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

The UK has been harshly rebuked by Amnesty International for its wide-ranging abuse of human rights both domestically and as part of its foreign policy

According to Amnesty International’s annual human rights report, the UK has long been “moving in the wrong direction on human rights” but matters are now “speeding towards a cliff edge”.

In the organization’s 408-page report, the UK government received strong criticism for its human rights violations in relation to “health, immigration policies, race discrimination, domestic abuse and housing”.

On the Covid-19 panddemic, the report spotlighted the country’s “extremely high” death toll and stressed that the UK’s response has raised grave human rights concerns.

Amnesty International condemned the government for its ongoing refusal to launch an immediate coronavirus inquiry.

Highlighting other human rights concerns, such as the government’s clampdown on the right to protest, the charity expressed “serious concern” over the government’s proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which would impose tough conditions on peaceful protests.

The UK section of the report added that the government’s policies can “severely curtail the right to peaceably challenge or protest in the UK”.

Beyond domestic issues, the report chastized aspects of UK foreign policy, specifically the decision to resume military exports to Saudi Arabia despite a 2019 court ruling which temporarily banned the practise. 

At a broader level, Kate Allen, the director of Amnesty International, said that the UK government is “shamefully trying to strip away our right to lawfully challenge its decisions no matter how poor they are”.

“For years, the UK has been moving in the wrong direction on human rights – but things are now getting worse at an accelerating rate”, Allen said before adding that “we need to stop this headlong rush into abandoning our human rights”.

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