October 13th and 14th Meetings in Fulwood and Upholland to commemorate 50 tragic years of abortion – “1 every 3 minutes in the UK”. A Poignant Anthem for the Unborn Child. 50 Years and 8 Million Lives Ended: Who Can Sound The Depths Of Sorrow? And Hear The Story of Lynda and her son, Kevin- who was allowed to live.

To see the presentation of talks given at Fulwood and Upholland,  Lancashire on Friday October 13th and Saturday October 14th to commemorate 50 years of abortion – 1 every 3 minutes, over 20 every hour in the UK – click here

Fulwood 2017 A Matter of Life And Death

At the meeting  at Upholland, near Wigan, in Lancashire, (October 14th) David Alton (Lord Alton of Liverpool)  said that attempts to “no platform” pro- life speakers and to silence the arguments about the sanctity of human life “smack of an illiberalism worthy of a totalitarian State.”  He said that it revealed a desperation on the part of opponents who know that “the tide of history is running against them.” He told the annual SERRA Conference that fifty years ago, this month,  when abortion was legalised only 29 MPs voted against it, whereas today hundreds support the pro-life cause or want significant change made to the law. He spelt out the “significant and eye watering multi-million business that the abortion industry has become – often oblivious to the devastating effects on many women and the tragic industrialised destruction of human life” (Details can be seen by clicking on the following link:

https://davidalton.net/2017/10/04/a-poignant-anthem-for-the-unborn-child-50-years-and-8-million-lives-ended-who-can-sound-the-depths-of-sorrow/

His remarks follow a well-attended meeting held in Lancashire last night (October 13th) when the Crossbench Peer, said that since abortion was legalised 50 years ago there had been more than 8 million abortions – and that every one of them was a tragedy. He said that over 20 abortions take place every hour in the UK – one life is ended every 3 minutes. He focused on the scientific evidence that life begins at conception and said that law and human rights legislation should reflect this. He said that phenomenal sums of money are made by the abortion industry and that women’s lives have been put at risk. He attacked attempts to prevent freedom of speech and the erosion of conscience. 

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A Poignant Anthem To Share In Memory Of Lives Lost

Don’t Let 50 Years and 8 Million Abortions Pass Without Marking This Tragic Anniversary In Some Way. 

 Please Consider Joining the One Minute of Silence in Parliament Square at 11.05 am on Friday October 27th – commemorating the moment this Bill became law; and the Vigil at 5.30pm at Westminster Cathedral on Friday October 27th  and the CARE Rally at the Emmanuel Centre in Marsham Street, Westminster,  on Saturday October 28th at 2.00pm.

Share with others these details and encourage them to listen to two pieces of music which can be accessed through the following links.

 The first is by Graham Kendrick, who published and recorded “Who Can Sound The Depths of Sorrow?”  twenty years after the passage of the 1967 Abortion Act, and as attempts were being made in Parliament, 30 years ago, to reduce the number of abortions. 

It was sung in the Royal Albert Hall by thousands of pro-life supporters as more than 3 million white petals cascaded onto those who were gathered there. Each petal marked a life ended. 

It was recently sung during a commemorative pilgrimage to Walsingham.

This powerful anthem for the unborn remains as poignant and, sadly, as relevant as on the day it was first sung. Listen to it again by clicking here:  

 

Earlier this year another musician, Vin Garbutt,  died.

 He was, in many respects, the ultimate protest singer – singing songs that challenge everything from Fascism to environmental degradation, racism to exploitation of workers, while never accepting “no go areas” like society’s attitudes towards the unborn child .

 Vin Garbutt was a great folk singer who refused to sing songs that betrayed his beliefs. Never tamed by coercive liberalism, despite six acclaimed appearances at the Cambridge Folk Festival and numerous awards he was never invited back to Cambridge after daring to sing two outspoken songs about the vulnerability and fate of unborn children. Vin Garbutt’s believed that through folk music “you hear songs about real things – coal mines, and shipyards closing down” – and that in singing and speaking about abortion and the unborn your music becomes part of “an underground movement of social songs of injustice”. He was effectively driven underground because he saw the ineluctable logic of defending human dignity and human life at every stage.  

 I hope that those who can’t get to hear songs like The Secret and Little Innocents might ask themselves why no radio station plays these songs.  Are these truths that we simply cannot bear to hear – or questions that we cannot allow to be asked?

   Get a flavour of why the BBC and media outlets have suppressed so much of Vin Garbutt’s music by listening to this song about Lynda and her son Kevin. It’s about being diagnosed with a pre-birth disability – which in a country that routinely kills 90% of all babies with Down’s Syndrome is a song that needs to sung and heard.

Click here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXvCtJYSHu8&app=desktop

Also, click here to see:

https://davidalton.net/2017/08/16/parliament-forces-government-to-pay-northern-irish-women-1400-to-end-the-lives-of-their-children-official-ruling-that-100000-people-are-alive-today-in-northern-ireland-thanks-to-their-abortion-law/

The unborn child at 18 weeks gestation. 600 babies are aborted daily in the UK - some, up to and even during birth, with the full force of British law. 7 million have been aborted since abortion was made legal and some have had up to 8 legal abortions.

 

Will Genocide Victims Be Enabled To return To Their Ancient Homes?  Will the International Community and State Governments Fail Them yet Again?

DavidAlton.net

Will Genocide Victims Be Enabled To return To Their Ancient Homes?  Will the International Community and State Governments Fail Them yet Again?

chjristian genoicde3At a conference held this week in Rome, about the persecuted Christians driven out of their homes in northern Iraq in the ISIS campaign of genocide, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, warned that Iraq’s ancient Christian community is struggling for its very survival – and has made an urgent call for the rights of all minority groups to be respected. 

The Nineveh Plains Reconstruction Conference considered practical steps that can be taken to allow these communities to return. What was really striking was the courageous faith and fortitude of those who have suffered so grievously. Those who have experienced their Good Friday are still full of Resurrection expectations as they seek to rebuild their lives in a region where they have lived as Christians for…

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Will Genocide Victims Be Enabled To return To Their Ancient Homes?  Will the International Community and State Governments Fail Them yet Again?

Will Genocide Victims Be Enabled To return To Their Ancient Homes?  Will the International Community and State Governments Fail Them yet Again?

chjristian genoicde3

At a conference held this week in Rome, about the persecuted Christians driven out of their homes in northern Iraq in the ISIS campaign of genocide, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, warned that Iraq’s ancient Christian community is struggling for its very survival – and has made an urgent call for the rights of all minority groups to be respected. 

 

The Nineveh Plains Reconstruction Conference considered practical steps that can be taken to allow these communities to return. What was really striking was the courageous faith and fortitude of those who have suffered so grievously. Those who have experienced their Good Friday are still full of Resurrection expectations as they seek to rebuild their lives in a region where they have lived as Christians for almost 2000 years – and where they pray in the Aramaic language – the language of Jesus.

 

 

The conference was organized by the charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN). It brought together politicians, ambassadors, entrepreneurs and other parts of the international community seeking to enable the return of Christians to their ancient homelands.

 

 

Cardinal Parolin said that Pope Francis “From the outset, has followed with deep concern the tragedy of the thousands of families forced to abandon their own cities and villages due to the invasion of the so-called Islamic State, starting in June 2014…” 

 

He praised the work undertaken by ACN  in providing shelter for fleeing families  “in the three years since the ISIS invasion, which has enabled the many uprooted Christian families to endure this situation with dignity and in security.”

 

And he said that the ACN “reconstruction project… is yet another sign of the concern you have shown, with a sense of urgency and with remarkable efficiency and organisation.”

 

Echoing Pope Francis, the Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako of Baghdad described the attacks by extremist Islamist groups on the Nineveh plain’s Christians as “genocide”.

 

Patriarch Sako said: “The real reason behind this kind of discrimination is the hatred of the radical Muslim persecutors towards the Christians, which has driven them to wipe away our heritage, destroy our homes and even to remove us from the memory of Iraqi history.”

 

The Chaldean Patriarch highlighted five areas where immediate action was needed – education, political support, security and stabilisation of liberated areas, humanitarian aid, and defeating fundamentalism and terrorism.

 

The Patriarch’s five points echoed Cardinal Parolin’s call for social harmony so that all religious and ethnic groups in northern Iraq could live in peace.

 

 

In the week before the Rome Conference the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a Resolution calling for those responsible for the genocide against minorities such as Christians and Yazidis to be brought to justice. See:

 

http://dailysignal.com/2017/09/28/un-resolution-major-step-toward-justice-victims-isis-genocide/

 

 

The UN SC Resolution is a significant step forward.  One practical problem, though, is that Iraq doesn’t have the concept of genocide in their domestic Statutes and it is doubtful whether it has enough qualified lawyers to be able to deal with cases of this kind – which is why  a referral to the International Criminal Court or a specially constituted Regional Tribunal would have been preferable.

 

During the Reconstruction Conference reference was made to the right, in international law, for these communities to return to their homes.  

Article 13 of the Universal declaration of Human Rights is clear (Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country).

 

Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is also clear (Article 12 1. Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence…. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of the right to enter his own country).

 

These Articles lay a duty on the international community – countries like the UK and US and the European Union) to facilitate reconstruction and return.  Aticle (44) of the Iraqi Constitution makes reference to the rights enjoyed by its own citizens under the UDHR and ICCP: “that all individuals have the right to enjoy the rights stated in international human rights agreements and treaties endorsed by Iraq that don’t run contrary to the principles and rules of this constitution.”

 

Despite Resolutions being passed in the US Congress, the British House of Commons, the European Parliament, and many other legislatures, State Governments  and the international community utterly failed to act and honour its commitments under the Genocide Convention to prevent and to protect and it is only now waking up to its duty to punish the perpetrators.

The right to return and to lead settled lives in their ancient towns and villages on the Nineveh Plain  was restated again and again at the Rome Conference – the question for State Governments and the international community is, will they fail these ancient communities yet again?

Also see:

https://davidalton.net/2017/08/16/genocide-of-christians-and-yazidis/

https://davidalton.net/2017/07/05/july-4th-2017-debate-on-the-house-of-lords-select-committee-report-on-the-middle-east-time-for-new-realism-the-plight-of-yazidis-and-christians-facing-genocide/

https://davidalton.net/2017/01/10/december-and-january-questions-raised-in-parliament-pakistanburmas-rohingyassudannorth-korea-hong-kong-egyptsaudi-arabia-murder-in-aleppo-25-killed-outside-cairos-coptic-cathedral/

Government Challenged About The Treatment of Refugees in Libya and Allegations that Shots Were Fired on Search and Rescue Vessels – following an open letter to the Prime Minister from Médecins Sans Frontières – Parliamentary Replies September 25th

 

Mediterranean refugees.jpg

Three Questions Put To the Government About The Treatment of Refugees in Libya and Allegations that Shots Were Fired on Search and Rescue Vessels – following an open letter to the Prime Minister from Médecins Sans Frontières (see text below)

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL1509):

Question:
Lord Alton of Liverpool To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, during his recent visit to Libya, the Foreign Secretary discussed reports that the Libyan Coastguard threatened and fired upon search and rescue vessels. (HL1509)

Tabled on: 11 September 2017

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

We are aware of such reports. During his visit in August, the Foreign Secretary raised the Libyan Coastguard with Prime Minister Serraj, underscoring the importance of respecting human rights and international law. We have made clear that all vessels must operate in accordance with maritime law and any behaviour that threatens legitimate search and rescue activity is not acceptable. The Libyan Coastguard training package – which the UK is helping to deliver – aims to help develop a corps of professional Libyan Coastguard personnel with the skills required to manage search and rescue activities properly, whilst respecting human rights and international law.

Date and time of answer: 25 Sep 2017 at 16:12.

 

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL1509):

Question:
Lord Alton of Liverpool To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, during his recent visit to Libya, the Foreign Secretary discussed reports that the Libyan Coastguard threatened and fired upon search and rescue vessels. (HL1509)

Tabled on: 11 September 2017

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

We are aware of such reports. During his visit in August, the Foreign Secretary raised the Libyan Coastguard with Prime Minister Serraj, underscoring the importance of respecting human rights and international law. We have made clear that all vessels must operate in accordance with maritime law and any behaviour that threatens legitimate search and rescue activity is not acceptable. The Libyan Coastguard training package – which the UK is helping to deliver – aims to help develop a corps of professional Libyan Coastguard personnel with the skills required to manage search and rescue activities properly, whilst respecting human rights and international law.

Date and time of answer: 25 Sep 2017 at 16:12.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL1508):

Question:
Lord Alton of Liverpool To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they intend to respond to the letter from Joanne Liu, International President of Médecins Sans Frontières, that was sent to the Prime Minister on 6 September concerning the conditions faced by people detained in Libya. (HL1508)

Tabled on: 11 September 2017

Answer:
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:

We are aware of Medecins Sans Frontieres’ open letter to the Prime Minister and share their concerns about the standards of treatment those in detention face. This is why we are providing assistance to improve conditions in detention facilities as well as encouraging Assisted Voluntary Returns, and will continue to do so. This activity is specifically designed to protect migrants’ human rights and improve conditions. It is underpinned by the ‘do no harm’ principle and we have checks in place to make sure that is the case. The key is to break the business model of smugglers and to prioritise interventions upstream in countries of origin and transit to reduce the need of migrants to leave their home country or move on from a safe third country in their region.

Date and time of answer: 25 Sep 2017 at 15:36.

Dear Lord Alton of Liverpool,

 

Given your interest in refugee issues, I thought you might be interested to see the attached letter from Joanne Liu, International President of Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), sent to the Prime Minister on September 6th.

 

It highlights the appalling conditions faced by people trapped in Libya, which are sadly exacerbated by the policies of European states – the UK included.

 

As you may be aware, the Foreign Secretary recently visited Libya to praise the work of the UK-trained coastguard. But he failed to mention that the Libyan Coastguard has put lives at risk at sea by threatening and even firing upon search and rescue vessels – MSF included. He also failed to address the appalling conditions inside Libyan detention centres, where UK policies are helping to trap desperate people.

 

On a recent visit to these detention centres, MSF UK’s Executive Director Vickie Hawkins saw these people and heard their stories. They included a 12-year-old boy from Mali, picked up by the Libyan coastguard after watching his parents drown in front of him in the clear waters of the Mediterranean. He was returned by that coastguard into a detention centre which is completely unfit for unaccompanied minors. He was sat alone in a detention centre surrounded by adult males. 

 

She also met a Nigerian woman who had lived with her husband and children in Libya for the last four years. Her husband had been in Libya for over eight years, working in Tripoli with no intention of travelling to Europe. Yet she had been picked up off the street by a militia, thrown into a detention centre and left in complete limbo ever since. She’s had one call to her husband in the ten months she’s been locked-up. He’s saving all the money he can to buy her freedom.

 

While MSF does not challenge the right of the UK or any other governments to manage migration, we do believe that this must be done in as humane a way as possible rather than merely pushing it beyond our borders. Sadly, all the evidence we have seen shows that the UK’s current policy is simply compounding the misery and suffering of migrants and refugees. These people are fleeing Libya and current policies from the UK and EU are pushing them back into the horror from which they are attempting to escape.

 

We have written to the Foreign Secretary to raise our concerns, and would be very happy to meet with you to discuss this further, should that be of interest.  Please do let me know if so.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Andre Heller Perache

Head of Programmes, MSF UK

 

On behalf of

 

Vickie Hawkins

Executive Director, MSF UK
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)
Lower Ground Floor, Chancery Exchange, 10 Furnival Street, London EC4A 1AB
Tel: +44 (0)20 7404 6600 | Fax: +44 (0)20 7404 4466

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an independent international medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid in more than 60 countries.

Letter to:

The Rt. Honourable Theresa May, MP

Prime Minister

Office of the Prime Minister

10 Downing Street

London

SW1A 2AA

06 September 2017

Re: European governments are feeding Libya’s business of suffering

Dear Prime Minister,

What migrants and refugees are living in Libya should shock the collective conscience of Europe’s citizens and elected leaders.

Blinded by the single-minded goal of keeping people outside of Europe, European funding is helping to stop the boats from departing Libyan waters, but this policy is also feeding a criminal system of abuse.

The detention of migrants and refugees in Libya is rotten to the core. It must be named for what it is: a thriving enterprise of kidnapping, torture and extortion. And European governments have chosen to contain people in this situation. People cannot be sent back to Libya, nor should they be contained there.

MSF has assisted people in Libyan detention centres in Tripoli for over a year, and has witnessed first-hand the scheme of arbitrary detention, extortion, physical abuse and deprivation of basic services that men, women and children suffer in these centres.

I visited a number of official detention centres last week and we know that these official detention centres are just the tip of the iceberg.

People are simply treated as a commodity to be exploited. They are packed into dark, filthy rooms with no ventilation, living on top of one another. Men told us how groups of them are forced to run naked in the courtyard until they collapse from exhaustion. Women are raped and then made to call their families back home asking for money to be freed. All the people I met had tears in their eyes, asking again and again, to get out. Their despair is overwhelming.

The reduced numbers of people leaving Libyan shores has been lauded by some as a success in preventing loss of life at sea, and smashing smugglers’ networks.

But with the knowledge of what is happening in Libya, that this should be lauded as a success demonstrates, at best, pure hypocrisy and at worse, a cynical complicity in the organised business of reducing human beings to merchandise in human traffickers’ hands.

The people trapped in these well-documented, nightmarish conditions in Libya need a way out. They need access to protection, asylum and increased voluntary repatriation procedures. They need an escape to safety via safe and legal passage, but to date, only a tiny fraction of people have been able to access this.

This horrific violence against them must stop; there needs to be a basic respect for their human rights including access to sufficient food, water and medical care.

Despite declarations by governments that improvements need to be made to peoples’ immediate conditions, this is far from happening today.

Instead of confronting the vicious cycle that their own policies are creating, politicians have hidden behind unfounded accusations towards NGOs and individuals who attempt to help people in dire straits. During its Search and Rescue operations at sea, MSF has been shot at by the European-funded Libyan coast guard and repeatedly accused of collusion with traffickers. But who is colluding with criminals here? Those seeking to rescue people, or those enabling people to be treated like a commodity to be packed and sold?

Libya is just the most recent and extreme example of European migration policies which go back several years, where a primary objective is to push people out of sight. The EU-Turkey deal from 2016, what we have seen in Greece, in France, in the Balkans and beyond, are a growing trend of border closures and push backs.

What this does is close options for people who seek safe and legal ways of coming to Europe and pushes them further and further into the smugglers’ networks, which European leaders insist they want to dismantle. Safe and legal avenues for people to cross borders are the only way to eliminate the perverse incentives that allow for smugglers and traffickers to thrive whilst at the same time fulfilling border control objectives.

We cannot say that we did not know that this was happening. The predation on misery and the horrific suffering of those trapped must end now.

In their efforts to stem the flow, is allowing people to be pushed into rape, torture and slavery via criminal pay offs a price European governments are willing to pay?

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Joanne Liu International President Médecins Sans Frontières

Overcrowding In Prisons and the Need To Provide Opportunity For Reform Raised In Parliamentary Debate

.

September 7th 2017   12.31 pm  House of Lords debate on the Overcrowding of UK Prisons

My Lords, in April it was reported that in the previous 12 months there were 344 deaths in prison, up by 19%, of which 113 were self-inflicted. Self-harm incidents increased by 24%; assault incidents were up 27%; and assaults on staff were up by 38%. All this was described as,

“a relentless decline in safety”.

Prison officers cannot be expected to deal effectively with this crisis when their own numbers have been reduced over the past seven years, from 25,000 to 18,000. Compromised safety, the associated violence and the availability of drugs, especially psychoactive drugs such as spice—even entering prisons by drones—and plummeting morale among staff, is not an environment conducive to reform, rehabilitation or a reduction in reoffending.

Half of 15 to 17 year-olds in young offender institutions have the literacy or numeracy levels expected of a seven to 11 year-old. This pattern repeats itself among prisoners who have no qualifications, about half of whom are functionally illiterate. Victor Hugo was right when he said, “He who opens a school door closes a prison.”

Prisoners whom I met during a visit to Birmingham prison told me that, unless we break the Gordian knot that ties them into a pattern of reoffending and reimprisonment, their lives will become utterly devoid of hope. What is happening to the Government’s proposals for getting prisoners into jobs after release, for ensuring that prisoners learn English and maths and for league tables to evaluate progress on education? Where do education, training, secure schools and young offender institutions fit into the long-term strategy?

I have drawn the Minister’s attention to the 60% of prisoners sentenced to less than 12 months in custody who go on to commit further crimes and to the overall reoffending rate of 45%—one of the highest in Europe—reflecting the highest rate of imprisonment in western Europe, with 148 prisoners per 100,000 of the population.

This is not just about a failure to promote reform or to work out how many prisoners can be crammed like sardines into a tin. Consider also the danger of prisons being used by jailed hate preachers acting as self-styled “emirs” to capitalise on gang culture to recruit susceptible inmates. Or consider the consequences of open-ended sentences for non-violent prisoners, who are captives of a system that seems too often to have forgotten them. We then see some of the other dimensions of jails that have become simmering cauldrons of unrest.

As others have said, we need an entirely new culture in our prisons and a different attitude to the way in which we run them—one that passes, as the noble Lords, Lord Cormack and Lord McNally, said earlier, the Churchill test of civilisation. These are just some of the reasons why we should all be grateful to my noble and learned friend, Lord Brown, for laying this Motion for debate before your Lordships today.

Frascati 2017 – Upholding Article 18. Genocide of Christians and Yazidis in Syria and Iraq. Persecution in Pakistan. Chemical Weapons Used In Sudan.

Click here for Presentation on the Upholding of Article 18

 Frascati 2017 – FORB

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Letter in the Daily Telegraph, August 11th 2017.

Daily Telegraph Letter August 11th 2017

July 4th 2017 Debate on the House of Lords Select Committee Report on the Middle East “Time for New Realism”. The plight of Yazidis and Christians Facing Genocide

  Also see:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/07/turkey-syriac-christians-fear-land-dispute.html#ixzz4loSLKLJ3

Also see:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/07/turkey-syriac-christians-fear-land-dispute.html#ixzz4loSLKLJ3

https://davidalton.net/2017/01/10/december-and-january-questions-raised-in-parliament-pakistanburmas-rohingyassudannorth-korea-hong-kong-egyptsaudi-arabia-murder-in-aleppo-25-killed-outside-cairos-coptic-cathedral/

https://davidalton.net/2016/10/27/international-religious-freedom-day-parliamentary-debate-on-anti-semitsm/

https://davidalton.net/2016/10/11/chemical-weapons-and-systematic-genocide-and-crimes-against-humanity-in-sudan/

https://davidalton.net/2016/08/16/genocide-bill-introduced-russian-ambassador-calls-for-international-law-to-protect-ethnic-and-religious-minorities-crisis-in-aleppo-latest-government-replies-and-boris-johnsons-genocide-statement/

https://davidalton.net/2016/04/21/genocide-parliament-has-spoken-and-the-government-now-needs-to-refer-this-resolution-to-the-security-council-to-stop-prevaricating-and-toundertake-its-obligations-as-a-signatory-to-the-prevention-of/

July 4th 2017.  Debate on the House of Lords Select Committee Report on the Middle East “Time for New Realism”.

Lord Alton of Liverpool (Crossbencher)

My Lords, all of us who have been fortunate enough to serve alongside the noble Lord, Lord Howell of Guildford, both here and in the House of Commons, have come to recognise his telling wisdom and prescience. He and his committee are to be warmly congratulated on this excellent report.

In several places, the report reminds us that the UK cannot act alone in addressing issues in the Middle East, while also highlighting the remarks of Dr Richard Haass that, in this world of bad options,

“not acting can be every bit as consequential as acting”.

As a BBC correspondent put it to the committee, in the Middle East,

“things come back and bite you if you walk away”—

a point referred to by the noble Lord, Lord Wallace of Saltaire, in his remarks a few moments ago about the effect in our own cities of events taking place in remote parts of the world.

I first visited Syria in 1980, on the day the Iran-Iraq war broke out, when my noble friend Lord Wright of Richmond was British ambassador in Damascus—where, like my noble friend Lady Cox, I regret the absence of a British diplomatic presence today. Over the ensuing decades, the consequences of failing to act, as Dr Haass put it, have been lethal for millions of people. One such consequence has been the migration and refugee crisis in which millions have been caught up. An estimated 13,000 have perished in the Mediterranean, the equivalent of both Houses of our Parliament being wiped out 10 times over.

Another consequence has been the spread of a murderous ideology that has no respect for the sanctity of human life, a point referred to by the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chester earlier today. Perhaps the Select Committee could use a future report to examine our response to outright genocide and the slaughter of the region’s minorities. A region without diversity and without minorities will of course also be a far worse place for the majority too.

Only last week, there was a truly shocking report in the Independent newspaper, and elsewhere, about how the region’s only Yazidi MP, Vian Dakhil from Iraq, wept as she described how a baby was butchered and fed to its own unwitting mother by ISIS, which had taken the mother as a sex slave. That Member of Parliament then went on to describe the rape and death of a 10 year-old girl in front of her father and five sisters. Such nauseating obscenity and barbarism breaks hearts but should also stir consciences. Imagine for a moment that this was your daughter, your sister or your wife.

Nearly 10,000 Yazidis are believed to have been killed or captured by ISIS, which reserves particular contempt for this minority group. Many women have been kept as sex slaves. Others have been discovered in mass graves.

But the House will also recall the 21 Coptic Christians taken to a Libyan beach and executed by ISIS after they refused to renounce their faith. ISIS says of the Copts that they are its “favourite prey.” Then think of the countless atrocities in Raqqa and Mosul. Antoine Audo, the Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo, says that two-thirds of Syrian Christians have either been killed or driven away from his country.

Zainab Bangura, the United Nations special representative on sexual violence in conflict, has authenticated reports of Christian and Yazidi females—girls aged one to seven—being sold, with the youngest carrying the highest price tag. One 80 year-old Christian woman who stayed in Nineveh was reportedly burned alive. In another Christian family, the mother and 12 year-old daughter were raped by ISIS militants, leading the father, who was forced to watch, to commit suicide. One refugee described how she witnessed ISIS crucify her husband on the door of their home.

Three years ago, on 23 July 2014, I warned in an opinion piece in the Times that,

“the world must wake up urgently to the plight of the ancient churches throughout the region who are faced with the threat of mass murder and mass displacement”.

But the world chose not to wake up, and for those caught up in these barbaric events, the stakes are utterly existential. If the Minister does not believe that these acts are part of a genocide, perhaps he would tell us precisely what despicable acts would have to occur which would constitute genocide? The 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, of which we are one of 147 signatories, lays on us a duty to protect and to punish. The convention of course was the work of the lawyer Raphael Lemkin, who lost 49 of his relatives in the Holocaust, and says that “international co-operation” is needed,

“to liberate mankind from such an odious scourge”.

In Syria and in Iraq, we have signally failed to do this.

It is 14 months now since the House of Commons, on 20 April 2016, voted unanimously to approve a Motion expressing the opinion that ISIS was inflicting genocidal atrocities on religious minorities. Our subsequent failure to act makes us derelict in our obligations under the 1948 convention. The Government have simply said they will collect evidence. Perhaps the Minister could update the House on how well this evidence collection is going. Are we, for instance, in touch with Ms Dakhil, the Yazidi MP I referred to earlier, to take a detailed statement from her about the appalling crime that she described?

I have been receiving disturbing reports from charities on the ground that very little evidence collection is under way and that crime scenes have been hopelessly contaminated while we have dithered. Is that true? How much evidence have we collected? Is it also true that those collecting the evidence have decided to disregard the atrocities committed against the Christian communities?

As we have seen in Manchester, at London Bridge and here at Westminster, these issues can indeed “come back to bite us”, as that BBC correspondent remarked. The Government need to see the clear link between the security and survival of the people of the region and our own citizens here in the UK. What security can there be when International Criminal Court-category crimes are left unpunished?

The committee’s report notes on page 4 that Russia is an essential partner if a global solution to problems in the region is to be achieved. What is stopping us from at least tabling a United Nations resolution at the Security Council to begin the prosecution of the ISIS leadership, even if it is just in the territory of Iraq alone?

The report also talks about the importance of building non-governmental links. Yes, but with a caution.

Will the Minister confirm that he has received the letter I sent to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees last Sunday about how UNHCR hands over control of its camps to local officials who have ideological agendas, impose sharia, intimidate others and on whose watch persecution, rape, robbery and violence occur, which is why many from those minorities avoid the camps? In other words, UNHCR is failing to provide safety and security to the very people who require it. I am told that locally contracted translators intimidate, browbeat, insult or threaten Yazidis and Christians, deliberately falsify information, lose files or tell such applicants to try elsewhere.

In this maelstrom, where is the future?

The noble Lord, Lord Howell, pointed us to the changing face of our NATO ally, Erdogan’s Turkey. Last week, Turkey sequestrated 50 monasteries, churches and cemeteries. I have stayed at Mor Gabriel on the Tur Abdin plateau. It was founded in 397. It is the oldest surviving Syriac Orthodox monastery in the world. I have written to the Minister about these sequestrations. Perhaps he could tell us where he thinks these seizures leave Turkey’s minority communities.

Meanwhile, across the border, joint Kurdish and Assyrian forces have recaptured a number of villages in the Khabur river valley area. They will need enormous help to find and dispose of mines and make homes and villages safe again. Will we be enhancing their military capability—their ability to protect themselves? Will we be guaranteeing, as John Major did in his day, a no-fly zone? What will we do to rid of munitions and armaments a region where assault weapons are more numerous than cooking pots?

In Washington recently, I met Bassam Ishak, the president of the Syriac National Council of Syria. He said:

“Without achieving the full rights of all the minorities of Syria, no new Syria will emerge and no political actor will win”.

His vision for the region is one where rights are based on citizenship; where all people, regardless of ethnicity, religion or gender are treated equally; and where women have a prominent role in the structures. Will we provide serious support for the Kurdish-Assyrian democratic self-administration governmental structure, with its commitment to civil society and the rule of law? Will we be backing the creation of the multidenominational Marshall plan called the Nineveh reconstruction project, which has already begun to rebuild and resettle thousands of people back in their homes and farms?

Matters are now at a tipping point: if these minorities fear that they will be unable to recover their homes, towns and villages, it will severely undermine the wider social and economic renewal of the region and result in thousands more refugees. There are incalculable benefits from religious pluralism, including stabilisation, growth and an easing of sectarian tensions. Of 12,000 known families, 500 have already returned to Telesqof, 74 homes have been repaired in Qaraqosh, and work is under way with other villages in the Kurdish-controlled areas. The project aims also to include provision of employment and the reconstruction of schools. Almost 13,000 homes in nine Christian villages in the Nineveh plains have been damaged, burned or totally destroyed in this genocide. Private charities alone cannot remake the broken places. Aid to the Church in Need, on whose board I sit, has costed the rebuild for homes and services in nine villages—excluding Mosul and Alqosh—at $254 million.

Our Government must play their part by ensuring that these ancient communities have fair and equal access to international and DfID humanitarian and development assistance; that persecuted minorities are part of the political settlement at national, provincial and district level; that safety and security of these minorities is provided in both the immediate and long-term; and that those who have terrorised and murdered them are brought to justice.

5.54 pm

chjristian genoicde3

Hundreds of Doctors Refuse To Support College Call for Decriminalisation of Abortion.Parliament Forces Government To Pay Northern Irish Women £1400 to End the Lives of Their Children. Official Ruling that 100,000 people are alive today in Northern Ireland thanks to their abortion law. Watchdog Accuses Marie Stopes of Botched Abortions

Doctors Are Right To Mutiny Against Attempts By a the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists To Decrimimilaise Abortion Laws Making It Ever More Routine To End The Life Of An Unborn Child.

They have two patients in their care – mother and child – and these doctors who have spoken out deserve our admiration for remembering their duty of care to both – and for remembering the Hippocratic Oath.

See this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4908312/Hundreds-doctors-revolt-relaxing-abortion-laws.html

Dr Max Pemberton has also written a thoughtful article: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4908350/MAX-PEMBERTON-Relaxing-abortion-laws-feminism.html

Compare the Hippocratic Oath with the remarks of a spokesman for the College who said that taking the life of an unborn child is no different than “removing a bunion”

Hippocratic Oath

I swear by Apollo the Healer, by Asclepius, by Hygieia, by Panacea, and by all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgment, this oath and this indenture….

I will use treatment to help the sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion. But I will keep pure and holy both my life and my art. I will not use the knife, not even, verily, on sufferers from stone, but I will give place to such as are craftsmen therein.

 

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Parliament Forces Government To Pay Northern Irish Women £1400 to End the Lives of Their Children. Official Ruling that 100,000 people are alive today in Northern Ireland thanks to their abortion law. Watchdog Accuses Marie Stopes of Botched Abortions

4 Votes

Marie Stopes – In Her Own Words

In 1925 Marie Stopes wrote that she was “out for a much greater thing than birth-control. I am out to smash the tradition of organised Christianity.”  To help her in this, she wrote to Henry Ford asking for “a million or two”.

In August 1939 Marie Stopes sent a volume of her poetry to Adolf Hitler telling him that she hoped he would “find something to enjoy” in her book.

Once war broke out she added ‘Prussians’ to the list of those for whom she had a pronounced distaste. A verse from 1942 suggests something of her attitude to race and religion:

Catholics, Prussians,
The Jews and the Russians,
All are a curse,
Or something worse.

She revealed her eugenics agenda when, in1935, she wrote that no society “should allow the diseased, the

racially-negligent, the careless, the feeble-minded, the very lowest and worst members of the community to produce innumerable tens of thousands of warped and inferior infants.”

 

Britain’s abortion industry in named for Marie Stopes – which tells you most of what you need to know.  

 

Last year: 22 MSI employees were paid more than £100,000. Chief Executive paid £420,000 (nearly 4 times the Prime Minister’s salary). This report appeared in the Times.

8 million too many 2.jpg

Marie Stopes receives millions in public funds: £47 million from DFID and £20 million by the NHS in 2015.

In 2016 the Care Quality Commission found dead unborn babies in open bins while, on Friday, in a further report, it was revealed that there had been nearly 400 botched abortions in two months at Marie Stopes….

 

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4783694/amp/Nearly-400-botched-abortions-two-months-Marie-Stopes.html

 

As this is the second time that MSI have been brought to book for failing badly the Government should cease giving them any more tax payer’s money.

 

The report reveals that there were nearly 400 botched abortions in just one month, with women having to return for foetal remains to be evacuated; that 12 women needed to be rushed to hospital for emergency treatment following botched abortions in the space of just two months; and other failings.

 

The report also prompts another question for tax payers.

 

Given that this is happening in Great Britain, what are MSI doing with millions of pounds of tax payers’ money in developing countries where they are funded by the British Government as part of the aid programme? Are they subject to CQC checks there? – and, if not, they should be.

 

MSI spend a lot of their time campaigning for decriminalisation of abortion laws. They endlessly trot out the slogan “we trust women” but this report begs the question “can women trust MSI?”  

 

These findings, coming just a week after the revelations that 100,000 people are alive in Northern Ireland, who would be dead had the 1967 Abortion Act applied in the Province, underlines why we need an urgent rethink about legislation that has led to the deaths of 8 million unborn British children.

 

Setting aside the ethical issues, it is worth asking whether it is we or Northern Ireland that has taken the wiser path.

 

We endlessly hear complaints about the numbers of workers coming to the UK from other countries, about the growing imbalance between old and young, while eliminating the lives of eight million under-50s. When you interfere with nature on an industrial scale there are inevitably consequences.

 

Whether it is the phenomenon of multiple abortions – some have had as many as eight – gender abortions in which little girls are targeted because of their sex – or what we now know about the development of the baby in the womb – or the cavalier practices of organisations generating millions of pounds from the abortion of mothers and their unborn children – it all demonstrates why we need an entirely different approach – one that starts from the premise that both lives matter. 

 

I cannot think of any comparable piece of major legislation which has not subsequently been re-evaluated to see whether Parliament’s intentions have been delivered.

 

 

100 lives

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2017/06/30/if-the-governments-abortion-decision-was-a-victory-what-would-count-as-a-defeat/

August Official Ruling that 100,000 people are alive today in Northern Ireland thanks to their abortion law is correct.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/835802/anti-abortion-movements-campaign-billboard-complaint

 

 

Ending the Lives of the Unborn – Victory or Defeat?

 

One national newspaper has hailed Thursday’s decision by the Government to pay £1400 to pregnant women to travel from Northern Ireland to Britain to end the life of their unborn child as a great victory.

If this is a victory what constitutes a defeat?  

Every abortion is a tragedy – a tragedy for a child whose life is taken and a tragedy for the mother who may have been persuaded that she has no choice but to have an abortion.

In the same narrative that declares this tragedy to be a victory those Northern Ireland Unionists and Nationalists, who have steadfastly upheld the sanctity of human life, are caricatured as illiterate, ill-educated bigots. 

And those who oppose them declare themselves to be compassionate and progressive.

Yet, given that there are now 100,000 people alive in Northern Ireland who would be dead if Britain’s abortion laws had applied, it is worth asking the question who has proved the more worthy champion of the supreme human right – the very right to life itself?

 Is it those whose legislation signed a death warrant for 8 million British babies or those whose faithfulness saved the lives of 100,000?

The “victorious” narrative is based on the belief that abortion is a compassionate lesser of two evils.

But there is nothing compassionate about scraping a child out of a mother’s womb – making it the most dangerous place to be in England. There is nothing compassionate about failing to provide help and support for a woman in crisis and offering her, instead, a ticket to a private clinic rather than giving care and support to her and her child.

And if it’s “evil” then don’t do it.

When Northern Irish women arrive in England what can they expect?

Most will be sent to the private clinics funded by the NHS. 

The cost to the NHS has run into millions of pounds – and its in these clinics where around 600 abortions take place every day, including multiple abortions (some have had as many as eight).

Some of these are clinics are where investigative journalists discovered functionaries willing to abort little girls simply because of their gender.

Some of the clinics to which they will go will be named for Marie Stopes.

Last year The Times reported that twenty two of their employees were paid more than £100,000.  Their Chief Executive was reportedly paid £420,000(nearly 4 times the Prime Minister’s salary). They receive millions in public funds: £47 million from DFID and £20 million from the NHS in one recent year.

In 2016 the Care Quality Commission found dead unborn babies in their open bins.

Marie Stopes famously said that no society “should allow the diseased, the racially-negligent, the careless, the feeble-minded, the very lowest and worst members of the community to produce innumerable tens of thousands of warped and inferior infants” 

Please note that when she wrote this, among others, Stopes had the Irish in mind.

So did those other luminaries, Beatrice and Sydney Webb who wrote in a Fabian Tract that children are being freely born to the Irish Roman Catholics and the Polish, Russian and German Jews, the thriftless and irresponsible. . . . This can hardly result in anything but national deterioration . . . or this country falling to the Irish and the Jews.”

There was, of course, an echo of this unadulterated prejudice to be heard in the attacks on the Northern Irish this week.

For those Northern Irish women who have their abortions in an NHS hospital let them also recall the brave Scottish midwives who lost their hospital jobs after refusing to take the lives of their second patient – the baby – and reflect on what those midwives knew and believe.

They hold, as science does, that life begins at conception. 

They know that an unborn child can feel pain and be caused great distress. They know that there is nothing compassionate about taking a life – it’s to confuse care and killing. They know that we have a duty of care to a mother and her child. It can never be reduced to a choice.

I have never been able to understand those able to dispense with the inconvenient yet incontestable truth that these babies are human lives – each unique and infinitely valuable. Barely a year passes without a major new discovery about how little difference there is between children in their mother’s womb and those at the breast. Yet we are told repeatedly that all of this is irrelevant. Patently, this is a preposterous position that no civilised society should support. 

Three extraordinary women who at various times were my guests at Westminster spelt out the truth that every abortion carries untold consequences.

The late Norman McCorvey, who as “Jane Roe” was the test case that led to abortion in the US gave me copies of 1,000 affidavits that she had collected from post-abortive women. These sworn statements make for harrowing reading. She said: “This has long ceased to be a feminist issue about a woman’s right to choose.”

Dr.Alveda King, the niece of Dr.Martin Luther King, who had three abortions which she now deeply regrets told me In our age the greatest human rights struggle, following in the footsteps of Wilberforce and my uncle’s civil rights movement is the battle today for the unborn”    

While St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta told me and other parliamentarians “The greatest destroyer of peace in the world today is abortion.” 

We must be positively pro-life, from the womb to the tomb, for the mother and the child, for the sick and the dying, for good medicine, ethical science, just laws. This is a daunting challenge but our world desperately needs to rediscover the beauty and mystery of life and to uphold a culture of life in place of our contemporary culture of death. Better, surely, than a ticket to yet another death in a British abortion clinic – where “victory” in Parliament is turned into a deadly defeat for both mother and child?