Across Europe our human rights have ensured that equal work equates to equal pay, ensuring women and men are paid the same in the same positions, that no gay, lesbian or transgender person can be persecuted for their sexual identity, that no person can be imprisoned if they have not broken the law, that every individual is entitled to a family life, and that every man is born free. These are laws our country should be celebrating, that we have enshrined in our laws that we are all free and equal citizens, devoid of context and our backgrounds.
It's been proposed that, since it's popular in Russian law, it's not the job of the Western world to change it. This is ridiculous on many levels. Firstly, a human rights violation is a human rights violation, regardless of whether anyone, majority or minority, elite or common, thinks it's a good thing.
It's clear that the biggest priority of all with regards to Uzbekistan is securing the safe passage of UK military equipment from Afghanistan back through Uzbek territory. In February the UK agreed to gift £450,000 of military kit to the country to secure such passage. Defence minister Philip Hammond said he was confident the kit would not be used for 'internal repression'. But even if this supposed confidence is not misguided, what message does it send that a government which just a few years ago was under strict arms embargoes from the EU and US on human rights grounds (for massacring hundreds of its own citizens in Andijan in 2005) is now enjoying military gifts from the UK?
The Foreign Office responded to a video of an opposition fighter committing an act of "barbarism" on a Syrian pro-government soldier by stressing the ...