Calling all bloggers and all budding bloggers! Did you know that Wednesday 16th October is Blog Action Day? Founded in 2007, this global initiative is a free, annual event and the aim is to unite people across the globe via social media. The event brings together bloggers from different countries, interests and languages by encouraging them to start a conversation about one important global topic on the same day.
Today Malala Yousafzai was awarded the 2013 Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought - an annual European Union prize for those who fight for human rights. Malala, 16, moved to Birmingham after being shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning for girls' rights to education in Pakistan.
The Home Secretary’s unveiling of a stop and search review back in July was more than welcome. As was her acceptance that existing stop-to-arrest ratios are “far too low for comfort”. For too long now, overbroad powers and their inappropriate use have undermined the delicate relationship between the police and communities. They’re used ineffectively - at times counterproductively - and without sufficient scrutiny and accountability. That’s precisely why we’ve just responded to the Home Office’s consultation.
We’re lucky to live in the world’s oldest unbroken democracy – a land where notions of dignity and fairness are generally treasured. But our justice system isn’t perfect. No justice system is. That’s why appeal rights are so essential – allowing people, as they do, to challenge the decisions of public officials in courts and tribunals.
On a Sunday which began with the Prime Minister muting possible withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights on Marr’s sofa, thankfully there was much to cheer at Liberty’s Conservative Party conference Fringe yesterday. Tory activists packed the room in Manchester, and they weren’t disappointed - our panel guests did us proud as they tackled tricky issues ranging from torture to Internet snooping. But the evening ultimately belonged to Attorney General Dominic Grieve, who delivered a memorable and rousing reminder of the importance of fundamental rights and freedoms to huge applause.
This weekend longtime Liberty friend the Reverend Nicholas Mercer and his parish will begin fasting for a week, to draw attention to those unlawfully rendered by the UK and those who’ve suffered torture. They’re also hoping to highlight how the recently passed Justice and Security Act will allow our Government to cover up their complicity in such behaviour. They’ll fast for a day each; many wearing orange boiler suits for their time without food.
On a grey and uninviting Monday evening in Glasgow a throng of delegates braved the driving rain to join our Director, Shami, and five prominent political thinkers to discuss the state of our liberties at the 2013 Liberty Lib Dem fringe.