Belarus and us….

Repeal the Human Rights Act? I repeat again for good measure: Repeal. The. Human. Rights. Act?

I mean who doesn’t want:
Right to life, right not to be tortured or subjected to inhumane treatment, right not to be held as a slave, right to liberty and security of the person, right to a fair trial, right not be retrospectively convicted for a crime, right to a private and family life, right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, right to freedom of expression, right to freedom of assembly and association, right to marriage, right to an effective remedy, right not to be discriminated against, the right to the peaceful enjoyment of one’s property, and the right to an education and finally free and fair elections….?

Seriously? Is this the face of modern Britain? By scraping the Act and essentially leaving the European Convention on Human Rights (formally Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) we join an esteemed list of other countries that are not part of the Convention, which include: Belarus. Yup! Belarus, the standard bearer of democracy, civil liberty and freedom in Europe. Even Russia is a member, OK their human rights record can’t really be shouted about, but they are still part of it!

Following the wreckage of the Second World War, the nations of Europe came together to define what they considered to be the fundamental rights that its citizens (or subjects in the case of the UK) should have guaranteed and enshrined in law. This was a remarkable watershed moment, and combined some of the basic ideals of rights and liberties. Yes, sounds of which still need to be expanded on, for example gender identity and sexual orientation – but it’s always best to reform from within.

The principles of the European Convention of Human Rights is one the reasons I joined the LibDems, a party which in the affirms in the opening sentence of its constitution the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community. I spent most of my education at the Vienna International School, was founded in the principles of equality as per the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Indeed the address of the school is Straße der Menschenrechte (Street of Human Rights). Growing up in a multilingual and multicultural environment has shaped my politics and made me the person I am now. We were taught from a young age the importance of human rights, of equality (regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender) and thus when it came to choosing the political party for me the LibDems were and are the natural fit.

It is the role of the LibDems to defend our Human Rights Act and to ensure that the fundamental principles of the European Convention on Human Rights are not eradicated in what will most certainly be a dark day for civil liberties on this country if the act is repealed.

We must ensure that we take this fight beyond Parliament and onto the doorsteps! As Liberal Democrats it is the fundamental principle of our party that the Human Rights Act remains and is not repealed!

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