Theresa May warned: ‘Don’t quit European Convention on Human Rights’

Theresa May warned: ‘Don’t quit European Convention on Human Rights’

Jewish human rights organisation Rene Cassin urges Prime Minister not to withdraw UK from treaty

Francine Wolfisz is the Features Editor for Jewish News.

Theresa May
Theresa May

A Jewish charity is calling on Theresa May to reconsider withdrawing the UK from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

In an open letter to the Prime Minister, Rene Cassin director Mia Hasenson-Gross said such a move would suggest: “Britain does not value an internationalist approach to human rights violations”.

The Jewish human rights organisation also reminded Mrs May that international human rights treaties such as the ECHR and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights were developed in response to the atrocities committed by the Nazis.

“As a Jewish human rights organisation, your words have particular resonance. Last month, Holocaust Memorial Day remembered the horrors committed by the Nazis in a world that had no effective political or legal response to totalitarianism.

“Determined never again to allow such inhumanity, the civilised nations moved quickly to establish the United Nations and that first great proclamation of basic, global, human values – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” the letter stated.

The charity also reminded Mrs May that the ECHR was both British and Conservative in origin, having been advocated by Winston Churchill and drafted by former Conservative Home Secretary, David Maxwell-Fyfe.

In the past, Mrs May has expressed her desire to replace the ECHR with a British Bill of Rights. While serving as Home Secretary from 2010 to 2016, the ECHR frustrated her plans to extradite hate preacher Abu Qatada.

Last April, the Prime Minister said: “The ECHR can bind the hands of Parliament, adds nothing to our prosperity, makes us less secure by preventing the deportation of dangerous foreign nationals, and does nothing to change the attitudes of governments like Russia’s when it comes to human rights.”

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