SHAFAQNA – In its annual report, Amnesty International -prominent rights organization – has criticized the British government, saying Britain had lead the war against human rights.
“Ramped-up surveillance in Britain against a backdrop of decreasing legal protection has contributed to the most rattling assault on human rights in Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall,” human rights experts warn.
The report published on Wednesday condemned the coalition government for rushing counter-terror and surveillance legislation through parliament without reasonable time for debate.
It also criticized the coalition for passing laws that erode fundamental civil liberties, and stressed continued cuts to legal aid in Britain is a recipe for injustice.
In 2014, David Cameron pledged a re-elected Tory government would scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a home-grown British Bill of Rights. He also vowed to limit the power of the European Court of Human Rights if the Conservatives win May’s general election.
Amnesty’s report said that the Tory’s proposals are an attack on the European Convention on Human Rights. The group accused Prime Minister Cameron of leading this assault.
Amnesty also noted the rise of discriminatory, nationalistic policies in Britain. It warned “nationalist, thinly veiled xenophobic attitudes” were instrumental in an increasingly restrictive migration policy and anti-EU rhetoric, which targets human rights.
The group also expressed deep concern over Britain’s Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act. The legislation, which came into force in 2014, increases UK authorities’ powers of interception – reaffirming Britain’s status as a leading surveillance state.
With respect to the Act, Amnesty argued the British government failed to set up adequate safeguards to ensure surveillance is authorized and carried out in accordance with citizens’ rights to privacy and freedom of expression.
Amnesty’s annual report concluded the international human rights framework in Europe is the most fragile it has been for 25 years.