Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Government minister gives equivocal answer

The threat by the current Conservative government to do away with the Human Rights Act (HRA) has lain dormant for some time due to the considerable time being devoted to the Brexit negotiations.  However, it reared its head again this week when a House of Lords EU Justice subcommittee asked a government minister for reassurance that it (the government) will not repeal or replace the act.

The Parliament Website has the following piece:

The House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee wrote to Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice David Gauke in December regarding the rights of citizens post-Brexit.  The Committee sought an explanation for the dilution of the Government’s commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Last week the Committee received a troubling response.  While again pledging an unchanging commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms, the letter from Edward Argar MP, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Justice, ended with reference to the Government’s intention to revisit the Human Rights Act once the process of leaving the EU is concluded18 January 2019 [accessed 22 January 2019 our italics]

This is very troubling.  The hostility of many ministers and politicians to the HRA is well known and echoes the frequent stories and campaigns in the tabloid press.  It is seen by some as a threat to our way or life and to giving terrorists and criminals a ‘get out of jail card’.

On the contrary, it is in our view, one of the most important pieces of legislation in the last 20 years.  It has shifted power away from the state and given ordinary people a means to challenge faulty decisions.  The Hillsborough enquiry is a recent example and would not have happened without it.  As an Amnesty spokesperson put it:

The Human Rights Act has been central to the vital pursuit of justice in this country for the last 20 years.  It is the unsung hero of UK life, holding powerful people and institutions to account when ordinary people are let down.  It is deeply concerning that the Government refuses to acknowledge that reality.

The Human Rights Act is a critical safety net for everyone in our society.  Any attempt to dilute or remove the essential protections the Human Rights Act provides should be categorically ruled out.

They are mounting a petition which you can take part in if you wish.

If the act is abolished, all that will happen is that we go back to the bad old days of people having to beat a path to Strasbourg to get justice.

Sources:  Amnesty, Rights Info, Parliament Website


If you live in the Salisbury or South Wilts area and would like to join us, you would be very welcome.  Keep and eye on this site or on Facebook @salisburyai for one of our events and come along and make yourself known.

 

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December minutes

Posted: December 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

Minutes of the December meeting are attached thanks to group member Lesley for compiling them.  A full meeting with both past and future activities discussed.  At the end of the minutes you will find details of future events with dates. 

If you are living in the Salisbury/South Wiltshire/North Dorset area and wish to join us you would be welcome.  The simplest thing is to keep and eye on this site or Facebook or Twitter (salisburyai) and come along to an event and make yourself known

China torture report

Posted: December 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

Amnesty in Salisbury

No end in sight

This is the title of a report produced by Amnesty International concerning the use of torture in China.  It was only last month that China’s president received a red carpet treatment on his visit to Britain with smiles all round.  The subject of human rights was taboo and was not to be mentioned during the course of his visit.  The aim was to boost trade and to secure deals such as the nuclear power plant investment.

Human rights infringements are a major issue for China and there is always the hope that there will be a steady improvement over time.  Indeed, it is a favourite argument by politicians that engagement – whether through trade, culture, sport or otherwise – is the best way to effect improvements in countries still practising torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishments.

Only it doesn’t seem to be working in places…

View original post 200 more words

Droits de l’Homme

Posted: December 5, 2018 in Uncategorized

Station displays, France

This is a photo taken in Montpellier station in the south of France, which shows a display of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Apparently, these are on many stations around France.  Hard to imagine such a display in the UK.  

Human Rights tableau, France

Christmas tree display

Posted: December 5, 2018 in Uncategorized

Christmas tree display in St Thomas’s church

We have entered a tree in the annual Christmas tree display in St Thomas’s church in Salisbury.  Our tree focuses on the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights after the war.  This was a time when nations had just endured the carnage of the war and millions had died, not just in the fighting itself.  It is sad to report that the outlook for human rights around the world is grim. 

We hope you can find time to visit the displays if and when you come to Salisbury.  

Amnesty tree

Refugee talk

Posted: December 1, 2018 in Uncategorized

A reminder that there will be a talk on the topic of refugees on Monday 10 December at 7:30 at the Salisbury Methodist Church.  The talk is free with a parting collection. We are delighted to welcome author and journalist Daniel Trilling to give the talk.


The New Forest Amnesty group is hosting a talk on 28 November and the details can be found below.  It is free.

New Forest Talk (pdf)


Letter published in the Salisbury Journal

A letter in support of the Human Rights Act was published in the Salisbury Journal today – 8 November 2018.  We have often discussed the threat to the act in this blog as it remains Conservative policy to abolish it.  There is little chance of this happening in view of the enormous amount of time and energy being expended on Brexit negotiations, nevertheless, the intention is there.  We do not know what will happen after March 31st of course. 

We have a meeting tonight, 8 November at 7:30, Attwood Road.


The death penalty report for August – September is now available thanks to group member Lesley for compiling it.

We would also like to draw your attention to a relatively new death penalty campaigning organisation called the Death Penalty Project

AUG-SEPT

 

 


We are pleased to attach the latest death penalty report thanks to group member Lesley for the work in putting it together.  Note that China executes more of its citizens than the rest of the world put together but details are a state secret.

There is an action taking place in Salisbury on 1 September between 9:00 and noon.  It will be in the Cheese market or in the Library passage.  Details are in the above report.

Potential new members are invited to come along and make themselves known during this event.

July – August report (pdf)