Sunday, April 13, 2008

Now even pirates are having their human rights breached

Every day brings another daft news story about how either terrorists or criminals have had their "human rights" breached. The latest story that I read must be a belated April fools joke, but apparently it's true. The Royal Navy has been told by the Foreign Office not to detain pirates because doing so may breach their human rights.

Alongside the recent ruling that Abu Qatada has indefinite leave to remain here, it's another nail in the coffin of sanity, and it does little to advance genuine human rights. Whilst Al-Qaeda suspects remain free to carry on planning out atrocities here, genuine asylum seekers facing ill treatment and in many cases certain death are routinely deported to dangerous places such as Zimbabwe and Iraq. As Joan Bakewell recently highlighted in the Independent:

The fuss over this man's right to stay in the country is all the more surprising considering how many and how often otherwise worthy and innocent people are returned to their country of origin. Earlier this year, Ama Sumani, a 39-year-old Ghanaian, was deported home even though she was undergoing treatment for cancer, a treatment that would not be available in Ghana. Friends protested and saved money to help her. But their pleas went unheard. She was returned home and died in Accra alone and friendless just a month ago.

There are other stories to wring the heart: Iraqis now being sent back because it is judged that life in Iraq has improved. Any one of these individuals would make a better humanitarian case for remaining here than Abu Qatada.

It's clear that we could have been rid of Abu Qatada years ago. France is also a signatory to the European Convention of Human Rights, but its judiciary loses no sleep over deporting terror suspects to countries where they may face ill treatment. Where there's a will, there's a way, but much of England's judiciary clearly have their own political agenda and are determined to do everything in their power to undermine the governments war on terror. In the light of this, it was an act of staggering naivety on the part of Tony Blair to sign the European Convention of Human Rights.