THE BLOG

A Fantastic Move for Human Rights - If Consistently Upheld

29/05/2012 09:59 | Updated 28 July 2012

The government have done something right. Hoorah. On the Andrew Marr show, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that any individual that has abused human rights would not be able to enter the country. He specifically spoke about the Olympics and clarified that that any athletes from the Syrian delegation who had connections (or supported) Bashar al-Assad's regime would be banned from entering the UK.

I don't need to say it but this is a fantastic move on the part of the British government. As a country, we shouldn't be welcoming those who are involved in torture, mass murder or a string of further abuses, as is the case with al-Assad's regime. And the same can be said of the leaders of Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and a number of other countries.

If the government are serious about this, they need to prove it. In Bahrain, citizens have been protesting peacefully for over a year, and one person was shot and killed on the very first day. In a continuation of the brutal tactics, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa then brought in tanks from Saudi Arabia to viciously crush the non-violent movement. Tom Malinowski, director of the Washington, D.C. office of Human Rights Watch, dubbed Bahrain "Prison Island" and writes that in response for taking part in peaceful demonstrations, protesters can expect to be either arrested, tortured, thrown off a building onto a balcony, tear-gassed or a mixture of the above. So why, just over 10 days ago, was King Hamad at the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations sharing a joke with Her Majesty?

Similarly, Iranian leaders should also be banned from the UK for sending in forces to Syria - although I don't think that would be too difficult for the British government.