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May's Britain: Brutal, Callous and Full of Hate

Amnesty slams PM’s shameful attacks on human rights and disgusting treatment of child refugees

THERESA MAY’S “callous brutality” towards child refugees and the passing of “draconian legislation” has made Britain a “golden standard for human rights abuses,” Amnesty International warns in its annual report released today.

The group said that the Prime Minister’s decision to scrap the Dubs amendment — which was to help lone children fleeing war in Syria — was part of a government plan to attack human rights in Britain.

Yet the country props up human rights abusers by selling arms to Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Amnesty’s report documents a shocking catalogue of human rights abuses committed by brutal regimes across the world.

It details violations of international law by 36 countries which send refugees back to countries where they are at risk and highlights at least 23 countries that committed war crimes in 2016.

The campaign group said there was little political will to address a growing list of crises and accused world leaders of pursuing narrow self-interest with “a more aggressive, confrontational world order.”

The annual report claims that “a narrative of blame, hate and fear is undermining the very foundations of human rights.”

Amnesty International director Tirana Hassan said: “This politics of demonisation shamelessly peddles a dangerous idea that some of us are less human than others. It strips away the humanity of entire groups of people.”

She accused governments of letting “the politics of hate and fear set the agenda” and turning their backs on the world refugee crisis.

“Never before have the human consequences of political failure been more evident,” added Ms Hassan.

Amnesty UK director Kerry Moscogiuri said: “Human rights abuses came under attack on numerous fronts” in Britain last year.

But she said that the attacks on migrants and refugees didn’t start with the Brexit campaign. “The government here has long set about creating a ‘hostile environment’ for refugees and migrants,” she pointed out.

As home secretary Ms May sent racist vans onto the streets telling “illegal immigrants to go home or face arrest” and former prime minister David Cameron referred to “swarms of refugees” trying to reach Britain from Calais.

And the Immigration Act passed in May last year “further stoked division” by making it a criminal act for landlords to rent premises to people without checking their immigration status. The Act’s “deport first, appeal later” approach has made people more vulnerable.

Ms Moscogiuri slammed the government for an “appalling lack of leadership and a callous brutality toward unaccompanied refugee children,” citing the scrapping of the Dubs amendment.

The Tories have also threatened to scrap the Human Rights Act and to pull out of the European Convention on Human Rights altogether.

At the same time the Investigatory Powers Act has seen the government force through “some of the most draconian surveillance powers anywhere in the world.”

Amnesty migrant rights director Steve Symonds accused the government of setting a “golden standard for human rights abuses” which could be replicated across Europe and the rest of the world.

He said the government “denied access to healthcare, denied access to employment, denied access to rented accommodation and social services” to migrants while dehumanising those who stand up for their rights.

Ms Moscogiuri said: “We cannot talk about Britain being a force for good on the global stage when it continues to sell arms to Saudi Arabia whose coalition forces are bombing schools and hospitals in Yemen.”

But she said it was “not a time for despair” and it was “vital that we stand up to protect human rights. Together we are ready for this big fight ahead.”

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