Global human rights organisation, Amnesty International, has “serious concerns” about the UK government’s approach to the rights of its citizens.
The body’s annual report, published today (07 April 2021), says the Johnson administration “violated the right to health and right to life” of one of the most vulnerable populations when it failed to provide adequate PPE to care workers, discharged infected individuals into care homes, and imposed Do Not Resuscitate orders.
Amnesty International highlighted further failings during the Coronavirus crisis, including the disproportionate death rate among BAME healthcare workers, and the reticence of government to launch a public inquiry into the UK’s “extremely high” death rate throughout the pandemic.
Outside of its response to Covid-19, the government is also encroaching of the rights of its citizens in its approach to policing and democracy, the report said.
Among the charges are “racial disproportionality” around police stop and searches and the use of force, planned reforms to the judicial review process that risk reducing the public’s ability to hold power to account, the undermining of the right to protest through the Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, and proposals to water down the Human Rights act.
“Having made mistake after lethal mistake during the pandemic, the government is now shamefully trying to strip away our right to lawfully challenge its decisions no matter how poor they are,” Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said.
“For years, the UK has been moving in the wrong direction on human rights – but things are now getting worse at an accelerating rate.
“On the right to protest, on the Human Rights Act, on accountability for coronavirus deaths, on asylum, on arms sales or on trade with despots – we’re speeding toward the cliff edge.
“We need to stop this headlong rush into abandoning our human rights.”