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PM’s statement on Sri Lanka calls for Independent Inquiry


Yesterday, the Prime Minister made a statement to the House of Commons on his recent attendance at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka. He took the opportunity to reiterate why he felt it was right to attend the Commonwealth meeting and to better understand the situation of the Sri Lankan people. He formally repeated his calls for the Government of Sri Lanka to set up an independent inquiry into alleged war crimes during the final stages of […]

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Kashmir’s Torture Trail: An update


Last week, after watching the documentary Kashmir’s Torture Trail on Channel Four, I submitted a written question to Alistair Burt, the Foreign Minister for the Indian sub-continent. I asked what assessment he had made of the allegations of human rights abuses made in the documentary and if he would make a statement. I reproduce the full answer below: We are aware of the Channel 4 documentary on Kashmir. We monitor developments in Kashmir closely and regularly raise concerns about the […]

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EU debates yesterday


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Yesterday, the Commons debated three important issues relating to the European Union: the 2013 EU Budget increase, reform of the Court of Justice of the EU, and the creation of an EU special representative for human rights. EU plans to increase its budget by 6.8% would lead to the UK’s contribution increasing by around £810m. Our 2012 contribution is 11.3% of the total EU budget; the proposed 2013 fund would mean the initial cost to UK taxpayers would be around £12.7bn. […]

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Supporting Wycombe’s Tamil Community


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On Saturday, I joined the local Tamil community for their annual Tamil School concert. It was one of the most joyful events I have attended. The children were hard working, talented and happy, the parents were proud and the teachers dedicated. It was a treat. We are more usually in touch about the aftermath of the conflict in Sri Lanka and the need for an independent international investigation. Parliament has debated Sri Lanka recently and I was successful in the last […]

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It’s time to jail those who force people to marry


The Government has decided to make it a criminal offence to force anyone into an unwanted marriage.  I think this is a good idea. Last year the police investigated almost 1,500 forced marriages but the real figure could be 8,000 or more. The new law will increase protection and support for victims and also focus on prevention. Prime Minister David Cameron said: Forced marriage is abhorrent and is little more than slavery. To force anyone into marriage against their will […]

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The latest Government stance on Kashmir


Last week, the Foreign Secretary launched the Government’s Human Rights and Democracy Report. The Report is a comprehensive look at the human rights work of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office around the world. The Foreign Secretary has said that 2011 will stand out as a positive year for human rights and democracy. He went on to say that the UK is one of the most active governments in the world when it comes to promoting human rights and that this […]

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Debate on Human Rights on the Indian Subcontinent


Yesterday’s debate on Human Rights on the Indian Subcontinent, which I moved and in which I focussed on Kashmir, may be found here: Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): I beg to move, That this House has considered the issue of Human Rights on the Indian Subcontinent. I am extremely grateful to the Backbench Business Committee for making this debate possible. My predecessor, Paul Goodman, took this issue extremely seriously and I am sure that had this mechanism been available he would have […]

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The Hindu: “U.K.’s Kashmir lobby forces debate in House of Commons”


Via The Hindu, we find an Indian reaction to this afternoon’s debate, which I shall lead: Britain’s strong Kashmir lobby, represented by MPs with large constituents of Pakistani origin from Mirpur, has seized on an Amnesty International report on alleged human rights violations in Kashmir to seek the British government’s intervention prompting a full-scale debate in the House of Commons on Thursday. The debate, called by Conservative MP Steve Baker, has raised eyebrows in Indian diplomatic circles. While there was […]

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Human rights in Kashmir and Sri Lanka


This week, I sought and secured a debate on human rights in Kashmir which is to take place on the afternoon of Thursday 15 September, in the House of Commons. I was joined before Parliament’s Backbench Business Committee by Jason McCartney MP, Andrew Griffiths MP, Denis MacShane MP and Nic Dakin MP. We argued for a debate on Amnesty International’s recent report on human rights in Indian-occupied Kashmir, “A Lawless Law”. We pointed out that this would be the first full debate […]

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Philip Lawrence’s widow urges reform of human rights laws after killer Learco Chindamo recalled to prison – Telegraph


David Cameron is under pressure to deliver on a promise to reform the Human Rights Act following the disclosure that the foreign-born murderer of Philip Lawrence has been arrested on suspicion of another violent attack. via Philip Lawrence’s widow urges reform of human rights laws after killer Learco Chindamo recalled to prison – Telegraph. I will be joining colleagues in calling for reform of the Human Rights Act to deliver a classical English Bill of Rights.  I have great respect […]

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