Thursday, 27 September 2012

United Nations Association (UNA-UK) Petition

From the UNA UK website:

Ahead of UN Day – 24 October 2012 – we are asking UNA-UK and all those interested in the UN to pledge their support for the Organisation by signing the petition below:

Sunday, 23 September 2012

British Institute of Human Rights #Act Campaign

ONLY A WEEK TO GO before the Commission on a UK Bill of Rights closes its public consultation!

The British Institute of Human Rights (BIHR) launched #Act at the beginning of September, a new campaign to engage people in debates about the protection of our human rights.

According to Stephen Bowen, Director of BIHR:

The Human Rights Act is a bit like our health, we don't value it until it’s gone. So let's not wait until it’s too late to speak up, let's raise our voices together. 

Find out more at:

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Human Rights = Totalitarianism?

From John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor at the The Telegraph:

Human rights 'agenda' is new totalitarianism Rt Rev Nazir-Ali warns ECtHR judges

"In a powerful submission to the judges, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, warns of a distorted “human rights agenda” which he likens to the atheist communist regimes in Eastern Europe which also suppressed Christianity by preventing public manifestations of faith.

Unless basic Christian values are upheld, human rights will become “another inhuman ideology”, like the totalitarian regimes of the past, suppressing individuals, he says.

Lord Lester, QC, the Liberal Democrat peer and leading human rights lawyer, insists that expressions of religious faith should not be given special treatment over beliefs based on philosophy or “rational analysis”. In a submission to the court on behalf of the National Secular Society, he warns that giving workers a right to wear a cross could create a “hierarchy of rights” and could make it impossible for employers to ban other “grossly offensive” symbols.

See the full article at:

British Institute of Human Rights Tour #16cities

The BIHR tour started in Cardiff on 17th September 2012. See their blog post for details:

At the end of the conference participants decorated pieces of bunting to add to the growing BIHR human rights bunting which is to be put up outside the Houses of Parliament as part of the campaign against the proposed Bill of Human Rights.

Here's a particularly good piece of bunting which was selected by the BIHR to put on their website:

Blasphemy Law in Pakistan

From the Church Times: 

Pakistan urged to stop blasphemy law’s ‘massive human-rights violations’
"PAKISTAN is being urged to set up a commission to investigate the "tragic consequences" of its blasphemy law and "suggest a way out of this difficult and embarrassing situation".

The call came in a communiqué issued on 19 September by the World Council of Churches after a series of public hearings in Geneva."

See the full article at

A current case involves a teenage girl, Rimsha Masih, who faces the death penalty after being accused of burning pages of the Qur'an. Rimsha Masih, was charged under Pakistan's blasphemy laws back in August this year. See

Four British Christians to go to the ECtHR

Here's a summary from the BBC outlining the cases:

Nadia Eweida, a Pentecostal Christian from Twickenham, south-west London, who was sent home by her employer British Airways in 2006 after refusing to remove a necklace with a cross

Devon-based nurse Shirley Chaplin, who was moved to a desk job by Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust Hospital for similar reasons

Gary McFarlane, a Bristol relationship counsellor, who was sacked by Relate after saying on a training course he might have had a conscientious objection to giving sex therapy advice to gay couples

Registrar Lilian Ladele, who was disciplined after she refused to conduct same-sex civil partnership ceremonies in north London

Each individual had made a separate application to the court, but the cases are being heard together.

Taken from: