Monday, June 17, 2024

Amnesty International UK slams House of Lords for not rejecting clauses that remove human rights protections for prisoners

Amnesty International UK Criticizes House of Lords for Stripping Human Rights Protections from Prisoners in Controversial Vote

The House of Lords Faces Criticism from Amnesty International UK Over Human Rights Protections for Prisoners

Amnesty International UK has condemned the House of Lords for their failure to strike down controversial clauses in a recent vote that strip away human rights protections for prisoners. The organization has raised concerns about a “sinister trend” of human rights being eroded, with prisoners being the latest group to be targeted.

The Victims and Prisoners Bill, introduced in March 2023, aims to improve support for victims of crime and reform the parole system, among other measures. However, the Bill also includes clauses that prevent inmates with life sentences from marrying or forming civil partnerships, as well as proposals to disapply certain human rights protections for prisoners.

Amnesty International had voiced their opposition to these clauses in a briefing before the second reading of the Bill in the House of Commons. The organization, along with other advocacy groups such as Liberty and Justice, warned that the proposals raised serious concerns about the UK’s commitment to human rights.

Following the debate in the House of Lords, where the clauses were not rejected, Amnesty criticized the decision. Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK’s Chief Executive, expressed disappointment in the lack of action, stating, “Human rights protections are designed to be universal, not given by politicians to groups they favour and taken away from groups they don’t like.” Deshmukh called on all parties to commit to repealing these carve outs if they come into power after the next election.

The controversy surrounding the Victims and Prisoners Bill highlights the ongoing debate over human rights protections for prisoners and the balance between victims’ rights and the rights of those convicted of crimes. Amnesty International’s criticism serves as a reminder of the importance of upholding human rights for all individuals, regardless of their circumstances.

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