House of Lords to Debate All-Party Genocide Amendment on Monday: Daily Telegraph editorial

Mar 18, 2016 | Uncategorized

House of Lords to Debate Genocide Amendment on Monday

“Government opposition to this amendment would seem odd following Mr Kerry’s intervention”. – Daily Telergraph







Insert the following new Clause—

“Conditions for grant of asylum: cases of genocide

(1)     A person seeking asylum in the United Kingdom who belongs to a
national, ethnical, racial or religious group which is, in the place from
which that person originates, subject to the conditions detailed in Article II
of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
Genocide, shall be presumed to meet the conditions for asylum in the
United Kingdom.

(2)     The adjudication of whether the group to which the person seeking asylum
belongs meets the description specified in subsection (1) shall be
determined by a referral to the High Court after consideration of the
available facts.

(3)     Applicants for asylum in the United Kingdom from groups designated
under this section may submit their applications and have them assessed at
British missions overseas.”




Syrian refugee children walk in the Bab al-Salam refugee camp in Syria’s northern city of Azaz

Picture: AFP/GETTY

By Telegraph View
6:30AM GMT 18 Mar 2016

America has finally acknowledged that Christians and other religious minorities are being butchered in the Middle East. Why does the UK government not do the same?

Why has it taken so long for the United States to acknowledge that there is a genocide happening in the Middle East? Yesterday John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, said that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) is ethnically cleansing “Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims”. The White House has hitherto avoided sectarian language for fear of pouring fuel on the fire – but the fire is already out of control. Antoine Audo, Chaldean bishop of Aleppo, said this week that two thirds of Syrian Christians had either been killed or driven away from his country.

Barack Obama’s refusal to call a genocide a genocide is representative of a halting, often contradictory approach to the crisis in the Arab world. In Libya, the mess of an earlier intervention is still being cleaned up. After five years of anarchy, an internationally-led effort to establish a stable government is finally being implemented; there is talk of British military advisers stepping in to the fray. The ambition is to help Libyans help themselves and, by so doing, halt both Isil and the flood of refugees across the Mediterranean.

The West needs a proper plan in Libya, and labelling Isil as a genocidal movement reflects greater realism about the task ahead. It must involve recognising what the fanatics’ goals are, including ethnic cleansing. Sadly, the British government still refuses to do this, insisting that it is up to judges to define genocide. Next week a group of peers will table an amendment to the immigration Bill triggering just such a judicial decision. Government opposition to this amendment would seem odd following Mr Kerry’s intervention. Religious minorities are being persecuted: the West has a moral duty to speak up for them.

For background and previous posts see:






Lord David Alton

For 18 years David Alton was a Member of the House of Commons and today he is an Independent Crossbench Life Peer in the UK House of Lords.

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