Britain’s “assault” on basic human rights has been heavily criticised by Amnesty International.
The charity this week published its annual State of the World’s Human Rights report and issued a damning indictment of the Government’s new anti-terrorism laws and surveillance powers.
Prime Minister David Cameron was accused of “leading the charge” against civil liberties by threatening to repeal the Human Rights Act and pushing to limit the influence of the European Court of Human Rights.
Kate Allen, director of Amnesty International UK, said: “The UK is going in the wrong direction on rights, protections and fairness. Public safety is paramount, but not at the cost of basic civil liberties.
“Twice this year GCHQ spies have been rumbled breaking the law. We should all be concerned about waking up in a surveillance state, without having a proper public debate about it first. The UK talks the talk on the global stage on human rights but this year’s summary shows they need to tend to their own garden.”
Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan claimed that the Government’s “belligerent” attitude to human rights was doing genuine damage to the UK’s international reputation.
While Britain and Switzerland were singled out for particular criticism, Amnesty is worried that fundamental principles such as the rule of law and access to justice are being undermined across all of Europe.
In fact, the report went as far as to say that the human rights framework hasn’t looked as brittle since before the fall of the Berlin Wall over 25 years ago.