May we through the pages of this newspaper express our thanks to Nick Herbert MP for giving us real experience of what it feels like to be denied the expression of a firmly held opinion, not because our view is violent or hate inciting, but because it does not agree with his and is therefore ‘tosh’ (WSCT 18/6/15)?
We are aware of many countries in the world where people are not allowed to express their views and are imprisoned or worse if they try to do so. In many cases they are from marginalised groups.
Hence the importance of efforts over the last 65 years to find ways of securing the universal human rights that were identified - principally by the British - in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, after the horrors of World War Two.
However, in Britain, those of us who have lived for many years under a democratic political system, where MPs are entrusted with the responsibility to represent all their constituents, have had less experience of such marginalisation.
Thank you, Nick, for giving us advance warning of what it is like to lose our voice – as we believe others will if the principle of universal human rights is abandoned as we fear.
Joint Chair, Amnesty International UK, Hollands Field, Broadbridge Heath
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