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Scotland: New First Minister must take a stand on human rights

Responding to the announcement that MSPs have voted for new SNP leader John Swinney to be Scotland’s next first minister, Neil Cowan Amnesty International’s Scotland Director, said:

“The Scottish Government has stood in opposition to the UK Government’s attacks on human rights in recent years, most recently in relation to the despicable Rwanda Act. We want to see John Swinney take a stand against the human rights onslaught we’ve seen in Westminster.

“But it’s also important to focus on the human rights advances that the Scottish Government itself can drive forward.

“John Swinney takes over as First Minister at a time when people in communities across Scotland continue to experience daily violations of their human rights. Families being locked tighter into poverty, disabled people being unable to access the social care they need, homelessness levels soaring, and people of colour still facing systemic injustice.

“It’s critical that the new First Minister puts human rights at the heart of his government. Where the UK Government has sought to denigrate and dismantle rights, he must ensure that under his leadership rights are protected and strengthened for everyone in Scotland. Key to this must be bringing forward the long-awaited Human Rights Bill, which can be a driving force for creating the more just Scotland that we all want to see.”


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