Human rights in Britain should start at home


Letter to the Editor in the Washington Post – January 3rd, 2021

In his Dec. 29 Tuesday Opinion essay, “Britain is still a global force for good,” British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab suggested that Britain is committed to human rights.

Three recent actions illustrate the United Kingdom’s ongoing hostility to human rights. First, on Oct. 16, Parliament passed the “Criminal Conduct” bill, which will allow its military intelligence agencies and police to commit murder, torture and rape with impunity, outside the constraints of the criminal justice system. Second, the British government is considering legislation that would exempt all military personnel from prosecution for crimes against civilians. Third, on Nov. 30, the U.K. announced it would not hold a public inquiry into the state-assisted murder of Northern Ireland civil rights lawyer Patrick Finucane, despite the U.K. Supreme Court ordering the inquiry and a promise from former prime minister David Cameron to do so. Mr. Finucane was shot at his dinner table by paramilitary thugs acting in collusion with British military agents.

Last month, 15 human rights organizations called out the Conservative Party’s policy calling for repeal of the Human Rights Act. Britain a global force for good? The world should not be blinkered by Mr. Raab’s propaganda.

Peter Kissel, Washington

The writer is national president of the Irish American Unity Conference.


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