Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Amnesty Pledge #SP2016

Last year I wrote a letter affirming my support for the global work that Amnesty performs and I am happy to have the opportunity to reaffirm my position and support today.

I actively campaigned against the United Kingdom's intervention in Syria and had I been an MP would have spoke and voted against David Cameron's token campaign which, in my view, has more to do with arms sales than any constructive move to bring peace.

Since I have spent now twenty years travelling the world's continents, I know what a nation without human rights looks like.  In Kazakhstan one could not discuss the president unless to praise him.  The same in Baku.  In Equatorial Guinea, I was in the capital Malabo when the entire population were summoned to the football stadium to hear the president's speech.  One had to be in the hospital in order to be exempted.  In Russia a few years back, I was there when the Duma passed the law that made it a criminal offence to accuse state officials of corruption, owing to the distress it brought upon individuals so accused and their families.  In Israel, I was waiting for a technician to to flown to the rig in order to fix the air conditioning.  He was refused permission to travel by the young security staff at Haifa airport, owing to him being an Israeli Arab.  In Qatar, I attended a health and safety seminar: only to hear that on the construction sites for the 2020 World Cup, an average of ten workers a week are dying owing to the lax standards there.

I really could go on at length: believe me.  It is one thing to voice support, quite another to know why it is so vitally important to do so.

So when I hold up this sign, I know exactly what it means and why I am doing it.

I hope you will through your voting support both me and the Scottish Liberal Democrats in the upcoming elections.

Kind regards,

Martin Veart
Edinburgh Northern and Leith
Scottish Liberal Democrats

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