Human Rights records of PM candidates


Link to post by Each Other of the human rights records of the prime ministerial candidates

July 2022

It will be down to two candidates by tonight (20 July 2022) but the review by EachOther of the human rights records of the four candidates is instructive. We already posted the worrying record of Rishi Sunak, currently in the lead. This link adds more detail.

Rishi Sunak MP


If Sunak becomes the new prime minister, what can we expect on the human rights front?

July 2022

Rishi Sunak is, at the time of writing (15 July 2022), in the lead in the race to become the new prime minister of the UK. Asking about his attitude and voting record in connection with human rights is therefore of considerable interest. It doesn’t look good.

They Work for You, the site which analyses MP’s voting records shows that Sunak ‘generally votes against laws to promote equality and human rights’. He voted against retaining the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. He is in favour of repealing the Human Rights act which has been Conservative party policy for some years now and a draft Bill of Rights is awaited.

When asked about withdrawing from the European Court of Human Rights he is quoted as saying (vaguely) ‘all options [were] on the table’.

He has voted consistently for policies to increase mass surveillance.

He is in favour – despite being the grandson of an immigrant from Africa – for sending immigrants to Rwanda.

Altogether a grim collection of negative attitudes and there seem to be no speeches or much information about his attitudes or likely policies on this important subject. There was nothing in his manicured promotion video. It very much looks like we shall get the existing policies carried forward unchanged. He seems to be part of the party which is hostile to human rights, wants to see them rolled back and to detach the country from European norms and treaties.

He is supported in the election by the MP for Salisbury Mr John Glen who likewise has a record of voting against equality and human rights issues according to They Work for You.

Sources: Open Access Government; LBC; Metro; They Work for You [we carried out an extensive search for any other relevant material but were unable to find any]

June minutes


We are pleased to attach the minutes of our June meeting thanks to group member Lesley for preparing them. At 13 pages long they might seem overlong for minutes of a meeting which normally would run to a handful of pages. However, we do not produce a newsletter and many of the items are of interest to a wider public than just those attendees. The various bills being introduced by the government are of great concern and will curb dissent and criminalise various aspects of legitimate protest.

New HR site added


The Institute for Human Rights and Business has been added to our list of human rights sites to be found at the bottom of this page. The institute says it is ‘the leading international think tank on business and human rights. IHRB’s mission is to shape policy, advance practice, and strengthen accountability in order to make respect for human rights part of everyday business’.

Report on the murder of front line defenders


A report by Front Line Defenders sets out the toll of murdered activists around the world

The report is a chilling record of the casual way those trying to defend human rights are murdered around the world with countries like Columbia leading the way. Many are trying tackle environmental destruction or to protect indigenous peoples.

The report shows how the use of terrorism claims are used by countries to attack or arrest those who seek to highlight abuses. It is well produced with clear graphics and maps. It also shows how governments use the Pegasus spyware produced by NSO in Israel to penetrate the phones of defenders.

A link to FLD (and other human rights organisations) is available at the bottom of this site.

Human rights Measurement Initiative


New service available

We are pleased to welcome the Human Rights Measurement Initiative and we have provided a link to the site at the bottom of the page under ‘Human Rights’. We shall no doubt be referring to their work in future posts.

There is a group meeting tomorrow via Zoom – supporters welcome. If you would like to join us, leave a message here or on Facebook.

Religious persecution: North Korea


Report released by Korea Future on the persecution of religious believers in North Korea

A Report has been produced by Korea Future containing detailed evidence of the scale and extent of religious persecution taking place in North Korea. Entitled: Persecuting Faith: Documenting religious freedom violations in North Korea (vol 2) It is based on 456 documented cases of human rights violations involving 244 victims and 141 perpetrators.

There are two mains religious beliefs in North Korea: Shamanism and Christianity. Both are severely persecuted and those thought or accused of engaging in either are subject to brutal treatment. This includes physical beatings, ingestion of polluted food, positional torture, sleep deprivation and forced squat jumps.

The Ministry of People’s Security are responsible for 90% of the documented serious human rights violations against Shamanic adherents and the Ministry of State Security is responsible for 90% of violations against Christians. The difference is that Christianity is seen as a political crime and adherents are tried in secret. To possess a bible is to risk death.

Sources: Korea Future; Private Eye

Russia closes human rights group


The Supreme Court in Moscow today (Tuesday, 28 December 2021) ordered the closure of the human rights group Memorial is a move which is seen as another step in the route to greater authoritarianism by President Putin in Russia. The group fell foul of the ‘foreign agent’ law, a law passed in 2016 to make life difficult for human rights groups to operate in the country. The prosecution accused the group of ‘creating a false image of USSR as a terrorist state’. Memorial sought to shed light on the horrors of the Stalin era when millions died in a vast network of gulags.

Amnesty International described the decision as ‘a grave insult to the victims of the Russian gulag’. With suppression of opposition parties – Navalny is imprisoned for example – and the intimidation or murder of journalists, Russia is living up to its sobriquet of a ‘gangster state’.

Human rights group in Russia under threat


International Memorial is under threat of being dissolved

International Memorial – full name International Historical Educational Charitable and Human Rights Society is under threat of being dissolved by the Russian authorities. Based in Moscow, The Society investigates some of the terrible tragedies under the Soviet era and those being committed by the Russian government today.

We have today added a link to their website in the list of sites at the bottom of this site.

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