Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Statement by the office of Lord Avebury, Vice-Chair, Parliamentary Human Rights Group
June 24, 2010
War Crimes trials should comply with international standards
At the request of the All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group (PHRG), the War Crimes Committee of the International Bar Association (IBA) examined the compatibility with international standards of the legislation under which the government of
A seminar was held on June 24 in Committee Room 3 of the House of Lords to discuss the IBA report, and the High Commissioner finally sent his government’s comments on June 21. He was unable to attend the seminar or to send a representative.
The main speakers were:
Khandker Mahbub Hossain, President of Supreme Court Bar Association of
Christopher Keith Hall, Senior Legal Adviser, International Justice Project, Amnesty International
Toby Cadman, International Bar Association
 The International War Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973, as amended by the Act of 2009
Yesterday I wrote to the High Commissioner asking him to convey the IBA's offer to his government. Clearly its in the interest of the government, as well as the victims of the war crimes, that the law under which the trials are held is above criticism.
Yesterday I spoke in a three-hour debate on Latin America in the House, see www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/100624-0006.htm. In these timed debates, members are asked to keep within a certain number of minutes calculated by dividing the time available by the number of speakers, and on this occasion that worked out at 11 minutes. It can be difficult if you have too much or too little material, and on such a huge subject I had to confine my remarks to cuts in our embassies, and the situation in Peru and Colombia.
On the surgery front, I have some tests coming up to see whether my heart and lungs are able to withstand the two operations - a bit awkward if they aren't! - and a meeting with the head of vascular surgery on July 8.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Receiving an award from Group Manager Erin Power at the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group's annual celebration on Friday. Erin's kind citation:
Lord Avebury has done much outstanding work in tackling social injustice in relation to immigration. His energy is equally, and strongly, spread across many significant issues - however politically appealing or isolating they may be. It is impossible to do justice to his contribution and achievements in a few words.
On wider immigration issues, he led a great deal of the scrutiny of the UK Borders Bill – for example, the automatic deportation provisions would have received little scrutiny without him.
On the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill, he was one of the few, if not the only one, to raise concerns about 'Special Immigration Status', which places asylum seekers who are not protected by the Refugee Convention but can't be returned to their countries of origin, in permanent limbo and destitution. He was instrumental in retaining discretion with regards to the HC321 (automatic bans); and played a major role in achieving concessions with regards to: the Immigration and Nationality (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2008; the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (Duty to Share Information and Disclosure of Information for Security Purposes) Order 2008; and Immigration (Biometric Registration) Regulations 2008. He has been consistently vocal on welfare of children and detainees.
On behalf of lesbian and gay asylum seekers, he has been tireless in raising awareness of the perverse situation whereby countries in which gay men and lesbians are known to be persecuted, are nonetheless deemed ‘safe’ by the Home Office. He continues to fight for the ‘safe’ designation to be lifted and we know will continue to do so under the new government.
Only yesterday he was raising in the House of Lords the very real concern that Refugee and Migrant Justice (formerly the refugee legal centre) may close, leaving many more asylum seekers unrepresented.
Lord Avebury, UKLGIG would like to acknowledge your work on our behalf. Please accept your award for selfless long-term commitment to the pursuit of justice"
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
The arrest of some 80 leading members of the new Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) that took place in
The leaders detained were all former pro-Kurdish deputies or mayors and included the former DEP deputy and co-president of Democratic Society Congress, Mr Hatip Dicle; the Mayor of Sur Municipality, Mr Abdullah Demirbas,; the Mayor of Kayapinar, Mr Zülkif Karatekin; the former DEP Deputy and Mayor of Siirt, Mr Selim Sadak; the Mayor of Batman, Mr Necdet Atalay; the Mayor of Viransehir; a member of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Mrs Leyla Guven; the Mayor of Kiziltepe, Mr Ferhan Turk and vice-president of Human Rights Association, Mr Muharrem Erbey. There is an online petition calling for the release of all these political detainees:
And since our meeting, the Ankara Republic Court Prosecutor has opened a case against the ex-Chairman of
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Not of sufficient urgency or importance! Over 100 people slaughtered and about the same number injured. Terrorists killing worshippers at their prayers, and then killing more people at the hospital where survivors are being treated. If this isn't urgent or important by those who decide these matters, I can't imagine what their scale of values must be. What I do know is that Ahmadi Muslims in this country and around the world find this attitude, and the silence of both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, difficult to comprehend.