Tories explore possibility of temporary withdrawal from European convention on human rights

As reported in the Guardian and the Mirror, the UK is considering temporary withdrawal from the European convention of human rights. Why would they need to withdraw and when would it be re-instated?

The issue stems from Abu Qatada and the governments inability to deport him. The inability stems from the fact that the European Court of Human Rights and our own British courts both believe and have found Qatada shouldn’t be deported. Both courts believe that he should not be deported to Jordan because he may be tried with evidence obtained under torture. For anyone who has watched Zero Dark Thirty recently enhanced interrogation techniques = torture, banned under the ECHR and rightfully so.

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Abu Qatada is a minor issue in himself but a political nightmare for Cameron and May. I personally can’t believe what they are suggesting and what it says to the rest of the world about Britain. It is a massive step back in freedom and policy, not forward. How can we claim to be spreading democracy and freedom through the world when we are withdrawing basic human rights for our own citizens? We cannot opt out of human rights when it suits us!

What are the articles of the ECHR and are they relevant? Here’s just section 1 listed and there are 13 Protocols filled with articles:

Article 1: Obligation to respect human rights
Article 2: Right to life
Article 3: Prohibition of torture
Article 4: Prohibition of slavery and forced labour
Article 5: Right to liberty and security
Article 6: Right to a fair trial
Article 7: No punishment without law
Article 8: Right to respect for private and family life
Article 9: Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
Article 10: Freedom of expression
Article 11: Freedom of assembly and association
Article 12: Right to marry
Article 13: Right to an effective remedy
Article 14: Prohibition of discrimination
Article 15: Derogation in time of emergency
Article 16: Restrictions on political activity of aliens
Article 17: Prohibition of abuse of rights
Article 18: Limitation on use of restrictions on rights

I’ve read through all the articles and protocols and they make sense if we live in a democratic free society. To remove them in order to save face and deport 1 man, maybe 2, maybe more, is a petty act of a desperate government. What it says to me is it would be willing to void your rights to make a point and avoid political embarrassment. The government no longer serves the people, it seems to serve a different agenda.

Is all hope lost? Certainly not, speak to your friends and family, social network and write to your MP and MEP. I use Write to them as they are rated on their ability to write back and in a timely manor. Raise awareness and let people know the truth about human rights. They can never be suspended if we do in fact live in a fair and free society. From an international perspective, the claim of spreading freedom and democracy while removing domestic freedoms is a hypocritical and despotic act.

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