Tag Archives: amnesty international

Alistair Carmichael: “Torture is an abhorrent violation of human rights and dignity”

Carmichael Glasgow AmnestyToday is the UN’s Day of Support for Victims of Torture. Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael has a long association with Amnesty International and he visited the Glasgow group last night to mark the occasion.

He spoke about the imprisonment of the Egyptian journalists, the death penalty, how Scotland has such a big impact on human rights as part of the UK and what the Coalition has done to advance the cause of human rights. The whole speech is available here on my blog, but …

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Alistair Carmichael and Richard Hughes from Keane tell the Independent about their friendship

Yesterday’s Independent on Sunday carried an interview with Alistair Carmichael and Richard Hughes from Keane about the friendship they developed after they met on a trip with Amnesty to try to prevent the execution of American Troy Davis in 2009. Sadly, Troy was executed in 2011.

The article captures the bright  and funny personality of one of our most popular MPs, along with his passionate opposition to the death penalty.

Richard Hughes sums him up like this:

Alistair is a passionate guy – it’s one of the things that makes him so charming. And he’s absolutely given me faith in the reason why

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Opinion: Apostasy and Saudi Arabia

Jeddah Corniche - Some rights reserved by CharlesFredRaif Badawi, a Saudi Arabian liberal writer, was arrested on June 17 in Jeddah and charged with ‘insulting Islam through electronic channels’ and ‘going beyond the realm of obedience’. His ‘crime’ at that point appeared to be setting up an online forum, Free Saudi Liberals, and attending a meeting in Cairo on May 7 of the Arab Alliance for Freedom and Democracy, but the words that constitute the offence were not specified.

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Opinion: We need a proper inquiry into Patrick Finucane’s murder

In the midst of an economic crisis, a climate crisis and a Secretary of State for Defence who seems determined to turn his life from an uplifting drama into a crisis, it’s easy to forget the sins of governments past.

But some issues shouldn’t be left to lie as footnotes in the pages of history. One of those is the case of the solicitor Patrick Finucane, and Liberal Democrats should return to their campaigning roots, within and outside Parliament, to press for a full inquiry into the case.

Finucane was a Catholic solicitor in Northern Ireland, where among his most famous clients was the …

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Opinion: Don’t make Guido’s day

What an enjoyable holiday Guido Fawkes must be having. While he is sunning himself in France he is also managing to create a ludicrous fuss in the UK with his campaign to use the new e-petition website to ask for a vote in the Commons on Capital Punishment.

For some reason this seems to have got Lib Dems in particular into a tizzy – blogging, tweeting and generally upsetting themselves about this, to no purpose at all.

Here‘s the thing: there is no chance whatsoever of a vote in the Commons supporting the return of the death penalty. None. …

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Opinion: The struggle for democracy persists in Europe, not just the Middle East

In December last year, Alyaksandr Lukashenka was re-elected president of Belarus, with 79.7% of the vote in elections deemed to fall massively short of OSCE standards. Under his leadership, the Belarusian regime systematically violates basic liberties. The past week has seen a worsening of the situation, with the oppressive regime using unjustifiable violence against protesters seeking democracy and freedom.

Despite a ban on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, in an attempt to try and stifle the protests, the capital Minsk has seen huge anti-Lukashenka demonstrations. The response of the Belarusian Government has been appalling. Hundreds of peaceful protesters have been …

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PMQs: Hattie tries to throw a “stinger” in front of voting reform

Prime Minister’s Questions is definitely becoming more subdued these days. The bellowing and ya-boo atmosphere has reduced by about 80% since the election. The Cumbrian shootings have dominated both sessions so far, which has added to the quietish feeling.

Harriet Harman has suddenly developed an interest in the electoral roll and the fact that “3.5 million people” who could be on it, aren’t. Fascinating. She seems to have suddenly come up with this as a reason to throw a sort of police “stinger” in front of voting reform – or at least constituency boundary re-drawing. She seems to have forgotten that her party was in power for thirteen years. Why didn’t they do something about electoral registration then? And, as David Cameron retorted, the last election was fought on recently redrawn boundaries anyway – which rather kiboshed Hattie’s argument.

Harman then had a go about CCTV. David Cameron went off on one, ending up about rights to enter people’s houses. He did make some good points about civil liberties during which Nick Clegg nodded very strongly. Harman raised an estate on her patch where they want CCTV coverage. Cameron said it was all about proportionality. If only he could say that about voting reform.

Good joke from Cameron:

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Compass want Lib Dems at its conference

As a visitor to LibDemVoice you may or may not be aware of the work of Compass – the influential pressure group that campaigns for a more democratic, equal and sustainable world. Compass is about building a broadly based Liberal Left politics and as a Liberal Democrat activist we wanted to introduce you to our important work and to invite you to attend our National Conference on Saturday 13 June.

We believe that both the Tory and Labour leaderships want to turn back as soon as possible to the failed politics of the pre-crash – both in terms of the old economy …

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