Tag Archive | U.K.

Heterosexual Couple Denied Civil Partnership in Possible ‘breach of human rights’*

Heterosexual Couple Denied Civil Partnership in Possible ‘breach of human rights’*

Rebecca Steinfeld (L) and Charles Keidan outside the Royal Courts of Justice, London

A heterosexual couple who appealed in court for a civil partnership have lost their case despite judges admitting it may be in “breach of human rights.”

Londoners Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, who have been together for 10 years, took their case to the Court of Appeal after losing their case in the High Court last year.

The couple, who have a 20-month-old daughter, wanted a civil partnership because they reject the “patriarchal” institution of marriage on principal.

However, the Civil Partnership Act 2004 only grants civil partnership to homosexual couples, who also have the choice of marriage after it was legalized in England, Scotland and Wales in 2014.

Steinfield and Keidan argued in the High Court that they lacked the same choice as gay people and were therefore discriminated against.

However, they said there was “still everything to fight for” as the verdict was based on “technicalities.” The judges acknowledged the potential discrimination against heterosexual couples, but wanted to allow the government more time to come to a conclusion.

“We lost on a technicality: that the government should be allowed a little more time to make a decision,” Steinfeld said, as cited by the BBC.

“So there’s everything to fight for, and much in the ruling that gives us reason to be positive and keep going.

“The Court of Appeal has made it clear the status quo cannot continue,” Keidan added.

“The government should now recognize the benefits of opening civil partnerships to mixed-sex couples.”

In an attempt to lobby government to make mixed-sex civil partnerships legal, the couple also set up a Change.org petition, which has garnered more than 72,000 signatures.

“When we started our legal battle for the right to form a civil partnership three years ago we could never have envisaged the incredible levels of support that would follow,” Steinfeld said.

“It really is remarkable, but it just speaks to the fact that opening civil partnerships is popular, fair and would be good for families and children.”

Kate Stewart and Matthew Cole, both 46, went to Gibraltar in June 2016, where heterosexual civil partnerships are legal.

“It just felt to be a more appropriate way to formalize the recognition of our relationship,” said Stewart, from Derby, the BBC reported.

“I have been married before… but Matthew and I didn’t feel that marriage reflected our relationship.

“The institution [of marriage] is very much unequal depending on your religion.

“We therefore felt it wasn’t a status we were comfortable with because it still had hangovers of inequality from the past.”

However, once they returned from the British Overseas Territory, they found U.K. authorities did not recognize their civil partnership.

“We paid for ceremony in pounds, we have a certificate, it was all very British, but as soon as we were back home we didn’t have legal recognition,” Stewart said.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.K. Judge ‘being driven from the public service’ for Backing Natural Marriage*

Gays Who Reject the Illuminati Agenda*

In Global War against Marriage and Family Pope Francis Denounces Gender Theory*

How the Left has taken Down the Family, Marriage, and the Nation*

Federal Court Overturns Ruling Upholding Natural Marriage in Puerto Rico, Orders Judge off Case*

U.K. Public School tried to Punish Teacher who Shared Biblical Marriage Views with Student*

Unregistered Marriages: A Muslim Concern*

Foundations Pouring Millions Into Eradicate Religious Exemptions on Gay ‘Marriage’*

American College of Paediatricians Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage was a ‘A Tragic Day for America’s Children’*

Parents Told Five Times to Abort Boy with ‘no brain’ – Now He’s a Thriving 4-year-old*

Parents Told Five Times to Abort Boy with ‘no brain’ – Now He’s a Thriving 4-year-old*

Noah and mother Shelly Wall

Noah and mother Shelly Wall

Noah and mother Shelly Wall

By Fr. Mark Hodges

Shelly Wall received the news that no pregnant woman should hear: Her baby would not survive.

Doctors told Shelly that the baby inside her — a boy — not only had Spina bifida but also had developed a rare complication of the defect. Hydrocephalus caused his skull to fill with fluid, stopping his brain from growing.

Physicians told Shelly and husband Rob that the baby would not live and urged them to abort him. They refused. Experts told the Walls that even if their baby survived birth, he would die soon after. They still would not consider aborting him. Surgeons told Shelly that even if he lived, he would be severely physically and mentally handicapped.

Noah's brain scans at birth (left) and age 3

Noah’s brain scans at birth (left) and age 3

Noah’s brain scans at birth (left) and age 3.

The couple, who already had a teenage daughter, was advised by professionals five times to abort their child. Each time they refused.

But the Walls did follow their doctor’s advice and plan for the worst while praying for the best. Shelly and Rob planned their little boy’s funeral before he was even born.

“I’d never seen a baby’s coffin before,” Shelly said.

The Hydrocephalus prognosis was, tragically, correct. When tiny Noah was born, he had less than two percent of a brain.

Little Noah was rushed into emergency surgery immediately after birth to close the opening at the bottom of his spine and to drain fluid from his empty brain cavity.

The surgery was successful beyond anyone’s hopes. As time went on, Noah’s brain began to grow into its cavity.

Today, Noah is a “chatty” little four-year-old, always smiling and very happy. He can count to 10 and hold a pen, is learning to read and write, and interacts socially with others at his local primary school.

He asks his mother, “You alright?” in reaction to Shelly’s tears as she latches his leg braces.

Last year, British television showed Noah’s amazing survival in a documentary entitled “The Boy with No Brain.”

There is hope that Noah, born with spina bifida, could one day walk without mechanical aids

There is hope that Noah, born with spina bifida, could one day walk without mechanical aids

There is hope that Noah, born with spina bifida, could one day walk without mechanical aids

The Mirror reported that Noah’s brain “is developing beyond all expectation.” In fact, brain scans dramatically showed Noah’s empty cranial cavity at birth and then at three years old, when his brain had expanded to 80% of normal.

On Friday night, a new documentary, “The Boy Who Grew a New Brain,” chronicled Noah’s improbable maturity.

One key to Noah’s miraculous mental advancement is his family. Shelly, Rob, and sister Steph (23)

work hard to always be around him. They continually keep his brain stimulated to aid its growth.”

The Walls call this constant cognitive stimulation Noah’s “brain-training.”

Spina bifida caused Noah to be paralyzed in the lower half of his body, but several hip surgeries are giving the Walls hope that Noah may one day walk.

“We’re determined that Noah will be able to walk” either with or without mechanical aids, his proud and heroic father Rob declared.

Noah’s life-saving neurosurgeon, Dr. Claire Nicholson of Newcastle’s Great North Children’s Hospital, summed up the lesson from Noah’s story.

He teaches the medical profession,” she said, “that you can’t ever know.”

Source*

Related Topics:

Miracle of Pregnancy: Couple Told to Abort or Die*

Love Even Affects the Size of a Child’s Brain*

The Igbo’s Traditional View on the Sanctity of Life*

Mother’s Love brings Life back to her Son Two-Hours after Pronounced Dead!*

Your brain does not process information…*

What They Don’t Want You to Know About the E.U.-Canada Trade Deal*

What They Don’t Want You to Know About the E.U.-Canada Trade Deal*

By Amy Hall

Canadian Tar Sands: CETA may force the EU to accept this dirty fossil fuel. Image: Greenpeace

Canadian Tar Sands: CETA may force the EU to accept this dirty fossil fuel. Image: Greenpeace

Canadian Tar Sands: CETA may force the EU to accept this dirty fossil fuel. Image: Greenpeace.

Meet the corporate sell off trade deal that Dr. Liam Fox snuck through a back-room of parliament as the Commons debated Brexit.

It is one of a ‘new generation‘ of trade deals agreed in secretive negotiations around the world. It has been described as the ‘ugly brother‘ of TTIP, the E.U-U.S trade deal, and the ‘most ambitious’ trade agreement that the E.U. has concluded.

The E.U/Canada trade deal threatens to put corporate interests over many things that we in Britain take for granted. The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement – to give it its official name – risks our food standards, undermines our rights at work, and fails to adequately protect the environment or bolster efforts to stop runaway climate change.

While civil society has largely been left out of negotiations, it seems that corporate lobbyists have been closer to the action.

If the European parliament votes CETA through (voted through 15th Feb), much of the deal can be provisionally implemented without the agreement of member states. While Britain remains part of the E.U., we will be bound by this. If our parliament ratifies CETA before we leave the E.U. we will be bound by the whole thing.

Brexit or not Britain faces CETA, or something that resembles it uncannily. Determined to prove that leaving the European Union does not mean that the UK’s free trade hopes are dashed, the way the government has dealt with the CETA process could be an indicator of how trade and investment policy works post-Brexit – and it isn’t looking good.

CETA is being seen as something to emulate in future free trade agreements, including with the European Union and Canada.

“We can pick up the almost complete agreement between the E.U. and Canada, and if anything liberalise it,” wrote David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union on the for Conservative Home.

For now though, the government is not giving up on CETA. Secretary of State for International Trade, Liam Fox, who is no stranger to the world of corporate lobbying, had committed to debating CETA on the main floor of the House of Commons. But he managed to bury this long awaited session to a House of Commons committee room on Monday 6 February: the same time as the Brexit Bill vote.

Fox, who has long made clear he feels the U.K. should have fewer trade ties with Europe and more with North America has been accused of “disregard for proper scrutiny of parliament” over CETA.

It’s not surprising the trade minister was so keen to sneak this deal past MPs. CETA challenges our already flawed democratic system by handing over more power to multinational corporations through the Investment Court System. This has replaced the notorious Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism in E.U. investment negotiations, and can force governments to compensate corporations over public interest policies that threaten their profits, bypassing national legal systems and courts, and hugely undermining the ability of MPs to legislate on vital matters of public interest.

It’s these corporate courts which have been one of the things most rattling people about trade deals like CETA. A European Commission consultation on investment protection and TTIP in 2014, which had nearly 150,000 replies, found ‘wide-spread opposition’ to ISDS.

U.N. Independent Expert Alfred de Zayas has described ICS as “a zombie of ISDS” and argued that ICS and ISDS should be abolished.

“It is States, particularly developing States, and their populations that need protection from predatory investors, speculators and transnational corporations, who do not hesitate to engage in frivolous and vexatious litigation, which are extremely expensive and have resulted in awards in the billions of dollars and millions in legal costs,” he said in a U.N. press release.

CETA will increase the number of companies able to sue the E.U. and its member states. Research by Gus Van Harten of York University and lawyer Pavel Malysheuski published in 2016 found that the beneficiaries of ISDS have “overwhelmingly been companies with more than USD1 billion in annual revenue – especially extra-large companies with more than USD10 billion – and individuals with more than USD100 million in net wealth.”

As well as threats to democracy, food safety, public services and workers’ rights, CETA is a massive danger to environmental protection. The European Commission argues that the agreement contains ‘strong rules‘ to protect the environment, but environmental experts who have seen it argue that it can’t be enforced adequately if they are violated and the language is weak.

One of the major threats comes from industries like mining and fossil fuel extraction. As highlighted by a group of NGOs earlier this year,

“The extractive industry is prolific in launching arbitration lawsuits. Over 50% of global mining companies are based in Canada.”

Canadian companies already have form. For example, in 2016 Canadian energy company TransCanada launched a US$15-billion lawsuit against the U.S. government under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) because of the pre-Trump decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline.

CETA could also increase imports into Europe of oil from Canada’s destructive tar sands. As well as a devastating impact on the climate through emissions and deforestation, these are also causing destruction in and risk the health of First Nations communities, including poisoning their water supplies and destroying sacred territories.

It was hoped that the E.U.’s Fuel Quality Directive could have stopped tar sands oil coming into Britain because of its much higher emissions, compared to conventional oil.

But lobbying from the Canadian government, supported by the likes of BP and Shell, contributed significantly to weakening the directive and leaving the possibilities for tar sands oil in Europe open.

Pressure from campaigners killed TPP and TTIP. Whatever happens with today’s vote on CETA, now is not the time to hold off the pressure. Although there can be provisional application of most of the deal if it passes, there does still need to be ratification in regional and national E.U. parliaments for it to take full effect.

In Britain there is important work to do when it comes to future trade deals negotiated with countries like the US and Canada, but also others around the world.

Mark Dearn, War on Want’s senior trade campaigner says that the movement is looking out for what comes next, including a potential US-UK trade deal post-Brexit. “Is the movement ready?… (I) very much so,” he says. “People have become very wise to the threat of trade deals off the back of TTIP and CETA so they’re very mindful of what comes next.”

As Dearn says, trade mechanisms, and the process of their negotiation, need to be transparent and accountable as we need to make sure things are done in the best interests of people, animals and the planet, and not just profit. We need to look at what it is that could be “negotiated away.”

There are many ways we can try and ‘take back control’ in post-Brexit Britain, including working from the grassroots to challenge neoliberal politics and the power of multinational corporations in the ways we work and live. There also needs to be more pressure on our politicians to stop them treating environmental protection, safety and public services as troublesome ‘red tape’ to be slashed away.

Source*

Related Topics:

European Parliament Demands Legal Scrutiny of CETA’s ‘Corporate Court’ System*

British Gov’t Silent on Secret E.U. Meetings with Lobbyists*

Eurocrats Making Record Number of Laws in Secret*

Growing Opposition Forces E.U. into a Humiliating Climb-down on CETA*

GMO Wheat Trials to Begin in Europe*

E.U. Bullies its Way through an Reciprocal Trade Access in Africa*

Indigenous Women Shut Down Tar Sands Pipeline Hearing*

BP, Trafigura and Vitol Export Dirty Oil to Africa to Kill People*

On the Rights of Nature*

Muslim Postmaster Saves Elderly Customer after Foiling MoneyGram Scam*

Muslim Postmaster Saves Elderly Customer after Foiling MoneyGram Scam*

Mohammed Khan [Credit: The Huddersfield Examiner]

Mohammed Khan [Credit: The Huddersfield Examiner]

Mohammed Khan [Credit: The Huddersfield Examiner]

A Muslim postmaster from Huddersfield rescued an elderly customer after foiling a scam which demanded her to pay £2,300 to a British Telecom company in China.

Mohammed Khan found that his customer was being ripped off by a conman and that the man was listening in on the customer’s mobile phone.

The 24-year-old postmaster Mohammed described the scammer as “heartless” and “deceitful”.

But he persuaded the regular customer to contact his bank and luckily the scam was avoided.

Mr Khan told the Huddersfield Daily Examiner:

“This person had hacked into his savings account, transferred money from that to his current account and then said it was an error by British Telecom and the money needed to be sent back.

“It was his own money! In total he was being asked to transfer £5,000 in two amounts: one of £2,300 and then another of £2,700.”

The incident happened earlier this week at Salendine Nook Post Office in New Hey Road. Mr Khan says he was instantly suspicious of a vulnerable person being pressured to send a BT payment to China.

Mr Khan added: “He said he had been told that BT had sent him a £5,000 payment instead of £200 and the money had to be paid back. I asked why and he couldn’t tell me. He just had a piece of paper with a Blackburn number on it.

“Then he said the person was on his mobile phone, still on the line in a live call.

“I knew it was dodgy. I spoke to the person on the phone, who sounded as if he was from an Asian background. He asked who I was and demanded to speak to my customer. I knew that as soon as he got the MoneyGram instruction the money would be gone, so I disconnected the call. The phone kept ringing but I told my customer not to answer it.”

Mr Khan is happy that he exposed the scam but remains very surprised over the sophistication of the con and the plausibility of the people responsible for it.

“It’s a very clever scam, heartless and deceitful. It made me very angry. There are people out there who will go to any lengths to take money from the vulnerable. I’m glad I was able to stop it. My advice to anyone who gets a call like this is to talk to their bank and not to send any money,” Mr Khan said.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.N. Scam: Rotten Food, Expired Drugs for Syrian Refugees*

U.S. Voter Fraud Investigation Order Quietly Trashed*

Thai Court Nullifies Rigged Election Scam*

New Bill to Enforce Vaccines After Whooping Cough Scam!

Media Caught Covering Up Clinton’s Ongoing Looting Of Haiti*

Health Care Scams Employees

French Caught Planning an ISIS False Flag Terror Attack on the French*

Founder of George Soros backed Media Matters Caught Conspiring with Facebook and Google to Shut-down Independent Media*

U.S. EPA Scientist Fired for Telling the Truth about Climate Engineering + Fluoridated Water*

Ex British Ambassador Tells How U.K., US, and George Bush Sr. Scripted Iraq and Afghanistan Wars*

Ex British Ambassador Tells How U.K., US, and George Bush Sr. Scripted Iraq and Afghanistan Wars*

In 2009, Murray left his diplomat position to speak out against government corruption and the ‘House of Torture’ still occurring in the Stalinist Russian Gulags – including children being tortured in front of their parents; broken bottles forced into the victim’s anus; and feet being held over fires to burn – which operated to get “false” intelligence to provide the basis for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

An ex-British government diplomat and ambassador of 20 years has come forward and given a public address about what he has witnessed on the ‘inside’ of the United Kingdom’s corrupt government.

Craig Murray was once a very patriotic man, admittingly going into his ambassador’s position somewhat naïve. Only 6 months after accepting his position, Murray states publicly how much his views of his nation and the systems in place internationally, had changed him.

On the Lead-Up to the Iraq War…

He says point blank to his audience:

“I discovered that in the country where I was ambassador [Uzbekistan], we [U.K.] and the Americans were shipping people in order for them to be tortured. And some of them were tortured to death.

“It was at the same time, about a month later, we invaded Iraq, against the will of the Security Council. Not just without permission of the Security Council, but in the full knowledge that if we had gone to the Security Council we’d have been voted down,” Murray said.

Murray continues, telling how he saw the internal memos passed around.

“I know for certain…I can tell you they knew there weren’t any [weapons of mass destruction in Iraq] It wasn’t a mistake. It was a lie…it’s impossible to be proud of the United Kingdom.”

On the Afghan War…

The president of Afghanistan from 2009 to 2014, Karzai was also a lead consultant for former U.S. president George Bush Senior’s energy company Unocal. Unocal asked the Taliban to provide security for the pipeline’s construction, and when the Taliban said no, the U.S. invaded.

Murray goes on to explain why the Afghan war also occurred – in the name of natural resources.

Naming former U.S. President George Bush Sr. as a main player on the Unocal energy board, a company that in conjunction with Enron, organized to build gas pipelines from Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan, over Afghanistan and down to the Indian Ocean, Murray tells of the real reasons behind the Afghanistan War and the private interests invested.

Murray claimed the consultants – also employed by George Bush Sr. – asked the Taliban initially, if they would provide security for the pipeline construction. Because the Taliban refused, the United States invaded.

They did have a “Plan B” however. According to Murray during his speech, the consultants for Bush’s Unocal included a Mr Karzai, who went on to become the president of Afghanistan from 2009 to 2014.

Uzbekistan and Torture is Far More Important than You Think…

Murray’s speech was given in Dec. 2016. It followed his banning to enter the United States in Sept. 2016 for undisclosed reasons, other than the Department of Homeland Security stating the once highly regarded British ambassador to Uzbekistan was now on a ‘list.’

Murray was due to honour former CIA agent turned whistle-blower, John Kiriakou, for his part in exposing the Bush-era torture program with the Sam Adams award, which he himself received 10 years earlier for displaying integrity and “moral courage in the midst of wrong doing on the part of the state.”

In 2009, Murray left his diplomat position to speak out against government corruption and the ‘House of Torture’ still occurring in the Stalinist Russian Gulags – including children being tortured in front of their parents; broken bottles forced into the victim’s anus; and feet being held over fires to burn – which operated to get “false” intelligence to provide the basis for the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Murray, however, wrestled with his conscience and exposed his government’s knowledge and the United States’ condoning of the “most sadistic methods of torture by Uzbek authorities” used to “extract information” to give to the western governments between at least 2002-2004

“Murray uncovered a torture infrastructure within the country that once silenced Uzbeki dissidents and fed the Americans shaky intelligence they were so desperate for, as the War on Terror on Iraq and Afghanistan began to unravel.”

Murray, after reporting the details to London head office, was told to stop “over-focusing on human rights” and focus more on “commercial rights,” Murray said at his speech.

Murray essentially became a whistle-blower after what he witnessed. Uzbekistan, was viewed by the U.S. and the U.K. as a long-term interest, primarily over “profiting from its oil reserves and geopolitical position,” reports The Real News.

Fast forward from Murray’s 2009’s accusations to expand on these disturbing revelations of the western interests over Uzbekistan – to 2016 – and Murray continues to enlighten the public of the evils of the western government today, not dissuaded by potential dangers, but holding his moral ground with his head held high.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.S. Has Nearly 30,000 Defence Contractors in Afghanistan*

CIA Helicopters Ferrying ISIS Fighters into Afghanistan*

With a Profile in Iraq and Afghanistan what is a “High Threat Team” Doing in Ferguson?*

A New Puppet so the Cabal Can Rape Afghanistan of its Rare Earth Mineral Wealth*

Two-Thirds of Afghanistan Reconstruction Money Went to DynCorp International*

Afghanistan Says No to U.S. Demand*

Developed in Iraq, Deployed at the DNC?: Cell-Jamming Technology is Being Turned on Journalists*

The Treasure at the Heart of Iraq

Chinese Billionaire Says U.S. Wasted Trillions on Wars and Wall Street and Forgot about their Citizens*

$17k per Month for Journalists Could Have Spent on the NHS was used for Fake News on Syria*

U.S. Claim of Killing 50,000 ISIS Terrorists ‘Fairytale’ says Ex Diplomat*

Iraq’s Agricultural Industry was Pillaged, Its Farmers Devastated, But It’s Still Free of GMO Seeds*

Russian Ambassador Murderer Tracked To CIA Base in Iraq*

George W. Bush on Trial for “Crimes of Aggression” Against Iraq*

U.S. Tries to Assassinate Iraqi Prime Minister in Missile Attack*

Cameron’s Role in Destroying Libya Compares with Blair’s in Iraq*

An Iraqi Woman’s Story of Life in Baghdad during the U.K. – U.S. Invasion*

Military Families Crowd fund nearly £50k to sue Blair over Iraq*

British air strikes in Iraq and Syria increase by 85%*

U.S. Army Captain Files Lawsuit against Obama over ‘Illegal’ War in Iraq and Syria*

17-months Later U.S. Can’t Find any Iraqis to ‘Train’*

Cover-up of U.K.’s Role in Iraq Atrocities*

“Official” British Intel Report on Iraq Copy-Pasted from the Internet*

 

U.K Gov’t Announces its own ‘Muslim ban’*

U.K Gov’t Announces its own ‘Muslim ban’*

By Carlyn Harvey

 

On 8 February, the Conservative government caused uproar by quietly scrapping a promise to help thousands of vulnerable refugee children. It decided that rather than provide refuge for thousands of children, it would only accept 350.

Yet while most were still reeling from that revelation, the government disclosed another even more sickening decision. According to The Independent, the Home Office confirmed it has placed a temporary halt on accepting refugee children with disabilities. The move comes just weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump caused an uproar for banning people, including refugees, from seven Muslim-majority countries temporarily entering the country.

The U.S. and U.K. decisions differ in scale and focus. But both are supposedly temporary measures. Yet the “unthinkable” temporary suspension of disabled refugee children to the U.K. reportedly has no confirmed end date yet.

And it shows a remarkable level of indifference from the Tory government to the vulnerable and the threats they face.

Really need help? Sorry, not you

The U.K. set up its Vulnerable Children Resettlement Scheme in 2016. It committed, in coordination with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to take in “at risk” refugees from the Middle East and North Africa.

Separately, an amendment to the Immigration Bill, known as the Dubs Amendment, bound the government to taking vulnerable children who had already made the journey to Europe. It is this scheme that will now be capped at 350 refugees.

But the UNHCR also had a limit placed on the applications it processes. The Home Office has requested it “temporarily limit” those with complex needs, including mobility issues and learning disabilities. Because, the government asserts, it doesn’t have “suitable reception capacity” for them.

A Home Office spokesperson confirmed that there was a temporary suspension of new referrals in the “most complex cases”. But the spokesperson denied it amounts to a total block on those with disabilities. Furthermore they claimed the pause would allow the government to ensure support for such refugees is in place on arrival.

The government also runs the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. It has committed to resettling 20,000 Syrian refugees by 2020 through this scheme. The spokesperson said:

“We work closely with the UNHCR and local authorities on both schemes and always ensure the necessary care packages are in place as we plan the arrival of vulnerable children and their families.”

An unthinkable decision

Yet the government’s decision to put a brake on the entry of child refugees with disabilities has faced criticism. Director of Human Rights Watch’s disability rights division, Shantha Barriga, said:

“People with disabilities endure unimaginable hardship during conflict, and many faced huge hurdles in escaping the violence. That the U.K. now says it’s not prepared to accept refugees with disabilities is unthinkable.

It’s an indefensible decision and blatant discrimination. The U.K. is not simply lacking ‘suitable accommodation’ in this case, but seems to be lacking political will.”

Meanwhile, head of advocacy at the Refugee Council Dr Lisa Doyle insisted:

“The refugees who benefit from the U.K.’s resettlement programmes are by definition the most vulnerable, and refugees with disabilities will often have specific needs.

While the Refugee Council knows that communities up and down the country are keen to help welcome refugees it appears there is an urgent need for accessible accommodation.”

Tory ethos writ large

Although the government’s decision is disgraceful, it’s not surprising. In November 2016, the United Nations published a report that concluded the U.K. government had committed “grave” and “systematic” violations of the rights of its citizens with disabilities. And those violations were largely a result of the austerity policies and welfare reforms pushed through since 2010.

So the government’s already evident disregard for those with disabilities has now spread to its refugee programmes. Rather than using its seven years in office, the first five in coalition, to fund and strengthen support for people with disabilities, it has de-funded and diminished it. All in the name of austerity.

And the horrific impact of those choices are now becoming clear. Not only at home, but in our tragic dealings with refugees abroad too.

Source*

Related Topics:

U.K. Quietly ‘Shuts Door’ on Child Refugees*

Theresa May Alone in the Trump Debate U.K. Parliament Unites to Send its own Message*

U.S.-U.K. Paid “White Helmets” Help to Block Water to 5 Million Thirsty Syrians*

‘I would Rather be in Aleppo’ than in the U.K.*

France, U.K., and Germany produce the most ISIS Terrorists from Europe*

Britain’s Seven Covert Wars*

U.K.’s Overhaul of Official Secrets Act Will Give Journalists 14 years in Jail for Publishing Sensitive Info.*

U.K.’s Overhaul of Official Secrets Act Will Give Journalists 14 years in Jail for Publishing Sensitive Info.*

By Sean –al Tabatabai

U.K. based journalists who receive or publish government secrets by whistle blowing organizations such as WikiLeaks could face up to 14 years in jail.

A controversial overhaul of the Official Secrets Act will give U.K. courts the power to imprison journalists who receive official material that is deemed “sensitive” to the economy.

Conservative MP Damian Collins, who is heading an inquiry into combatting the so-called ‘fake news’ problem, says the new proposals need careful consideration, acknowledging that whistle blowing can sometimes be in the national interest.

We need to ensure that we get the balance right between protecting sensitive official information and allowing debate about facts where there is a clear and overwhelming national interest.

Telegraph.co.uk reports:

In theory a journalist leaked Brexit documents deemed harmful to the U.K. economy could be jailed as a consequence.

One legal expert said the new changes would see the maximum jail sentence increase from two years to 14 years; make it an offence to “obtain or gather” rather than simply share official secrets; and to extend the scope of the law to cover information that damages “economic well-being”.

John Cooper QC, a leading criminal and human rights barrister who has served on two law commission working parties, added:

“These reforms would potentially undermine some of the most important principles of an open democracy.”

Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive of Index on Censorship, said:

“The proposed changes are frightening and have no place in a democracy, which relies on having mechanisms to hold the powerful to account.

“It is unthinkable that whistle blowers and those to whom they reveal their information should face jail for leaking and receiving information that is in the public interest.”

Her organisation has accused the Law Commission, the Government’s statutory legal advisers, of failing to consult fully with journalists before making its recommendations in a 326-page consultation published earlier this month.

“It is shocking that so few organisations were consulted on these proposed changes given the huge implications for public interest journalism in this country,” said Ms Ginsberg.

The Law Commission sought advice from media groups including Guardian Media as well as civil liberties groups including Liberty and Open Rights Group.

Other groups consulted included the intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6 as well as several government departments and senior politicians and lawyers.

Jim Killock, chief executive of the Open Rights Group, said:

“It is clearly an attempt to criminalise ordinary journalism. The idea seems to be to criminalise the act of handling leaked documents which would prevent the public from knowing when the government is breaking the law.

“It is fundamentally un-British to try to control journalists in this way. It is completely unreasonable to equate any leak of secret information as an act of espionage.”

The Law Commission’s proposed changes would replace four official Secrets Acts dating back to 1911. The changes do not allow for a statutory public interest defence.

The Law Commission recommendations state that there should be “no restriction on who can commit the offence,” including hackers, politicians and journalists.

The new proposals will now go out to further consultation which will be open until April 3.

Source*

Related Topics:

Mobile Phone and Computer Searches by Police Becoming Normal in U.K.*

U.K. PM Bows to Pressure to Spell out ‘Brexit Plan’ Details*

Petition to Repeal U.K.’s Mass Surveillance Bill Hits 100,000+ Signatures*

U.K. just Passed the Most Invasive Surveillance Law in the Democratic World*

Genetic Testing or U.K. Population Surveillance*

E.U.’s Top Court Rules against Mass Surveillance*

U.K.’s PM Bans Ministers Talking to the Media*

U.K. Spying Report Warned of Intelligence Failure*

A Self-Described Passionate Zionist in Charge of U.K. Government Cybersecurity*

U.K. City Installs ‘Giant Eyes’ to Spy on Citizens*