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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Liz Truss Accused of Delaying Annual Human Rights Report over ‘Criticism of Rwanda’

Truss has stated throughout the leadership race that she will continue and support the contentious Rwanda policy

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

UNITED KINGDOM: Liz Truss has been accused of delaying the publication of the Foreign Office’s annual human rights report because it is expected to be critical of Rwanda’s human rights performance.

The yearly study of how the UK perceives other nations’ human rights records was expected this year before the parliamentary summer break but has now been delayed the longest since it was started by the then-foreign secretary Robin Cook 21 years ago. 

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Critics suggested that the standoff may be an effort to silence criticism of Rwanda, where the government plans to send refugees and migrants, or that Truss may be preoccupied with the Conservative leadership contest, in which she is the overwhelming favourite over Rishi Sunak.

Liz Truss holds a firm lead over Sunak

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Despite a new survey showing Truss with a 32-point lead as the race enters its final fortnight, Sunak asserted on Thursday that he still had “a shot at being prime minister.”

According to a survey, parliament members supported Truss with 66% of the votes and Sunak with 34% of the votes.

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The former chancellor attempted to rekindle his campaign with yet another flurry of policy announcements. These announcements were centred on a strategy to enhance NHS dental services, including a programme of “early intervention” checkups in primary schools.

Truss has stated throughout the leadership race that she will continue and support the contentious Rwanda policy.

The UK’s high commissioner to Rwanda issued a warning against the proposal, according to court documents related to the legal action to stop the plot, since Rwanda “had been accused of recruiting refugees to conduct violent operations in neighbouring countries.”

One would anticipate that the Foreign Office’s delayed report on human rights would criticise Rwanda even more. According to the final version, which was released in July 2021, “critical voices continued to confront harsh constraints” in the nation.

It also denounced the killing of Kizito Mihigo, an activist for peace, while the police were holding him. In every report from 2011 through 2014, case studies on Rwanda were routinely included, along with criticism of violations and limitations.

At best, this is another instance of how government business has halted. At the same time, Liz Truss is involved in her contentious debate with Rishi Sunak, according to Labour lord Lord Wood of Anfield, a member of the Lord’s international relations committee. 

“At worst, I believe it is the foreign secretary’s cynical attempt to put off reviewing what the report says about Rwanda. In either case, there is no justification for this unusual delay.”

The Foreign Office informed Labour MP Tulip Siddiq in July that the report on international human rights in 2021 will be released before the beginning of the recess.

The report, which represents the UK’s perspective on human rights reports from the previous calendar year, is typically released between March and June. It was occasionally released even earlier under Labour. At the end of the year, it was covered. A Foreign Office official stated Thursday night that the annual human rights and democracy report would be released soon.

In an interview with ITV’s This Morning on Thursday, Sunak stated that despite Truss’s polling advantage, he “absolutely” had a chance of winning the competition.

Contrary to Sunak, Truss has often shied away from lengthy TV interviews throughout the campaign. Rochelle Humes, the co-host of This Morning, claimed that the show had attempted to contact Truss but had been unsuccessful.

Truss has now agreed to speak with Nick Robinson for an interview. This will take place on August 30, just three days before voting ends.

Before the ninth hustings event on Friday in Manchester, Truss’s team released a brief statement about a “vision for the north-west” that reiterated previous positions on issues like improved train connections and further devolution.

Sunak, on the other hand, made a declaration in response to a recent BBC investigation that revealed that 90% of NHS dental offices are not admitting new customers to address the problem of access to NHS dentists.

Sunak stated that in addition to a pilot programme for dental examinations inside primary schools, he would ringfence financing for dentistry within the NHS, with a requirement that health commissioners demonstrate they are giving expanded access to dentists, employing mobile clinics as necessary.

In addition, Sunak promised to make it simpler for foreign dentists to register for NHS work, reform NHS contracts for dental work, and give staff members like dental nurses and hygienists more responsibility for routine procedures to stop so many dentists from switching to ‘private-only’ practice.

Also Read: UK PM Race 2022: Senior Cabinet Minister Switches Side, Chooses Liz Truss over Rishi Sunak


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