Network Rail pulls Human Rights Act ads for being ‘too political’

Amnesty campaign highlights the benefits of the Act


Amnesty UK has criticised Network Rail for refusing to display its pro-Human Rights Act ads in train stations.

According to Amnesty’s press office, the campaign — highlighting the benefits of the Act, including for the Hillsborough families and the Northern Irish peace process — was pulled at the last minute on the grounds that it was ‘too political’.

Responding to the decision, Amnesty UK director Kate Allen said:

“We’re very disappointed by Network Rail’s decision to pull these adverts at the eleventh hour. We simply don’t accept that basic human rights are ever a political issue.

“The irony is that human rights cross party-political lines and so do failures, cover-ups and abuses. Successive governments managed to let down the Hillsborough families, and their story demonstrates precisely why we need enduring human rights protections which aren’t redrafted by the government of the day, on a political whim.

“It’s vital to safeguard basic rights in these politically volatile times as constant protections relied on by ordinary people.”

Transport for London carried the adverts as planned and those banned by Network Rail have been relocated elsewhere.

Barry Devonside, who lost his 18-year-old son Hillsborough, described the public sector body’s decision as ‘very small-minded’.

“Human rights aren’t political; they cover everyone right across society. I don’t think many people know about the Human Rights Act and how important Article 2, which protects the right to life, is. But we do, and the Human Rights Act is one of the most important things in our society.”

See also: Soldiers aren’t being harangued by lawyers – it’s a myth designed to discredit the Human Rights Act

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