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Candidates asked to show their commitment to human rights

Human rights advocates Hastings & Rye Amnesty International are requesting all the parliamentary candidates in the constituency to declare their commitment to upholding international human rights law if elected. Nick Terdre reports.

In an open letter sent to all eight candidates, Hastings & Rye Amnesty International refer the candidates to the election manifesto published by Amnesty International UK and specifically ask them to state where they stand on a number of key issues which have been the subject of often contentious debate.

They ask candidates what they and their party would do to ensure that the next government restores the UK’s commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights. The Conservative incumbent Sally-Ann Hart recently stated her support for leaving the convention.

On Gaza, among other questions, they ask if the candidate and their party support a ban on UK arms sales to Israel, and if they would “challenge Israel’s system of apartheid and its illegal occupation of Palestinian territories.”

With respect to British nationals unlawfully detained around the world, on whose behalf both Amnesty International and their families report that the “UK Government isn’t doing enough to secure their release,” they ask what the candidate and their party would do to change this.

On the economic, social and cultural rights of UK residents, among other questions they ask what plans the candidate’s party has to protect people’s rights to a decent home and food and reasonable access to healthcare.

After stating Amnesty’s belief that the “UK government must repeal the anti-protest measures in the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Act 2022 and the Public Order Act 2023,” their questions include whether candidates support the right to protest, and what they and their party would do to protect that right.

Finally they ask a series of questions related to asylum, including whether the candidate supports “everyone’s right to seek asylum in other countries under the terms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” and what they and their party would do to “ensure the next government introduces safe and legal routes to all refugees wishing to seek asylum in the UK.”

They end the letter: “We respectfully request all parliamentary candidates in Hastings & Rye to stand up for human rights and make a public commitment to defend human rights.”

Since sending the letter last week, acknowledgement has been received from two candidates, Pal Luthra of the Amnesty group told HOT: Phil Colley of George Galloway’s Workers’ Party – for Britain, for Gaza, who largely agreed with the letter, and independent Paul Crosland.

However, no acknowledgement, let alone indication of support for human rights, has been received from the candidates of the other parties: Labour, Greens, Liberal Democrats, Tories or Communists.

The full letter can be seen here.



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Posted 18:07 Wednesday, Jun 19, 2024 In: Elections

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