"Shameful": SNP MSP hits out at global rollback of human rights

The findings from an Amnesty International report prompt concerns about the current state of human rights across the world 

A HUMAN RIGHTS charity has express grave concerns about the current state of human rights across the world.

The findings of a report from Amnesty International show fears of a backtrack on fundamental human rights, with Turkey, Egypt and the Philippines condemned for their conservative approach to universal rights and freedoms.

The report goes further by saying that 36 countries illegally returned refugees back to a country where their rights would be at risk, prompting condemnation from SNP MSP Christina McKelvie.

The Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse MSP said: “I am deeply disturbed at the findings of the report from Amnesty International, showing that, among other atrocities, 36 countries illegally returned refugees where there was a demonstrable risk to their life if they returned.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg. The report goes further to show that 23 countries have committed war crimes in the past year, with 22 countries standing accused of killing peaceful protesters.

“The report goes further to show that 23 countries have committed war crimes in the past year, with 22 countries standing accused of killing peaceful protesters.” Christina McKelvie

“It’s clear from the report that there has been a very worrying and very shameful rollback on fundamental human rights from certain governments across the world.”

Naomi McAuliffe, Amnesty International’s programme director in Scotland, said: “Wealthy nations including the US have shown an appalling lack of leadership in dealing with critical refugee issues. President Trump’s policies have brought America to a level of human rights crisis that we haven’t seen in years, and he has only been in office for a month.

“However, he is just one world leader who appears intent on reserving rights and freedoms for the privileged few.”

McAuliffe added: ”When language such as 'taking our country back' and 'making America great again' is seen alongside proposals to treat EU migrants like bargaining chips or to ban refugees on the grounds of religion, it demonstrates a trend that fosters deep hatred and sends a strong message that some people are entitled to human rights and others aren't.

“President Trump’s policies have brought America to a level of human rights crisis that we haven’t seen in years, and he has only been in office for a month.” Naomi McAuliffe

“This toxic language is not acceptable, and we must stand together to prevent human rights being eroded any further.”

McKelvie convenes the Scottish Parliament’s equalities and human rights committee, and has launched a parliamentary motion to take note of the findings of the report.

McKelvie added: “The Scottish Parliament has always been an institution with human rights ingrained into its fabric. Within that fabric lies the parliamentary responsibility to hold governments to account should they flout their human rights obligations.

“As politicians, activists and as people, we must stand together to ensure that human rights are not just for the elite few - they belong to us all.”

“We condemn human rights abuses wherever they occur and call on all states to meet their human rights obligations in full. Progressive nations have a duty to lead the way in protecting, respecting and promoting human rights.” Scottish Government spokesperson. 

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Scotland has a strong and enduring commitment to securing democracy, the rule of law and human rights across the world. 

“We condemn human rights abuses wherever they occur and call on all states to meet their human rights obligations in full. Progressive nations have a duty to lead the way in protecting, respecting and promoting human rights.”

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office was unavailable for comment at time of publication.

Picture courtesy of Christina McKelvie

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