Since the hideous Paris attacks last week, a point that has been made over and over again is that ISIS (or, Daesh if you want to annoy them) have a strategy of provocation. Their atrocities are designed to ‘sharpen the contradictions‘ by provoking people in Western countries into acts of racism, and provoking Western governments into acts of war. They hope that by sowing division and actually causing human rights abuses against minorities, more Muslims in these countries will become disaffected and radicalised. Journalist Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed has a good analysis of the strategy: Continue reading “After Paris, maybe we need to slap ISIS about with Matthew’s Gospel?”
In September I attended the launch of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Magna Carta Partnerships programme, a new fund that seeks to promote legal expertise and the rule of law around the world. FCO Minister Baroness Anelay was joined by current and former diplomats for a panel discussion on how good governance and robust legal institutions can strengthen the rule of law, and in so doing, also protect human rights.
The British Government is regularly criticised for its apparent support for human rights abusing regimes such as Saudi Arabia or Bahrain. So during the Q&A session I was able to ask the Minister and other panellists why our Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and officials overseas do not make more public statements on behalf of political prisoners like Raif Badawi.
You can listen to the exchange via the player below and on SoundCloud. Or you can just read the transcript. Continue reading “Why doesn’t the FCO speak out on behalf of Raif Badawi? Minister and officials respond”