Dame Stella, take a bow! | Belfast and Beyond | 17 Feb 2009 | Amnesty International UK

Dame Stella, take a bow!

I don't know If Dame Stella Rimington is an Amnesty member or not. But she should be.

The former spy-boss has become one of the UK's most eloquent defenders of rights and liberties since she left the government's payroll and started speaking out against attacks on our hard-won freedoms from the benches of the House of Lords.

Laat year Dame Stella was one of the critics at Westminster who succeeded in overturning government plans to assume the power lock up people for 42 days without charge.

Now she has given an interview to Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, saying that people here feel like they are "under a police state" because of government fear-mongering to give cover for its encroachment of civil liberties. She hits out too at the US which, she says, "has gone too fat with Guantanamo and the tortures."

“Many governments, ignoring the lessons of history, have allowed themselves to be rushed into hasty responses to terrorism that have undermined cherished values and violated human rights.’’

Dame Stella, we at Amnesty couldn't have put it better ourselves!

Full details over at the Daily Telegraph.

It is this spirit of bringing together a broad chorus of voices in defence of freedoms and rights which will imbue the Convention on Modern Liberty, to be held on Saturday 28 February in cities across the UK.

In Belfast, the voices joining the debate will include: Les Allamby, Nicola Browne, Roisin Devlin, Mira Dutschke, Stephen Farry MLA, Prof Helen Fenwick, Liz Griffith, Dr. Michael Hamilton, Prof Colin Harvey, Daniel Holder, Dr. Neil Jarman, Nazia Latif, Mark Littlewood, Alban Maginnis MLA, Dr. Louise Mallinder, Agnieszka Martynowicz, Alex Maskey MLA, Fiona McCausland, Basil McCrea MLA, Dr. Aoife Nolan, Dr. Rory O'Connell, Ursula O’Hare, Mike Ritchie, Eoin Rooney and Peter Weir MLA.

Organised by Amnesty International and the School of Law at Queen's. Unmissable by anyone who wants to stand up for human rights. Register now: law-enquiries@qub.ac.uk

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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