The UK is increasingly giving the impression that it cares more about trade and security than human rights with the Government apparently overlooking abuses in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, MPs have warned.
The Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee said the omission of Egypt and Bahrain from the Foreign Office’s list of countries requiring special attention on human rights helped foster the idea it “has become more hesitant in promoting and defending international human rights openly and robustly”.
Ministers have denied that human rights are no longer a top priority but campaign groups such as Amnesty International have attacked the UK for allowing the sale of British-made arms to Saudi Arabia which have then been used in the Yemen conflict. United Nations officials have said Saudi air strikes could be targeting civilians at hospitals, markets, schools and even at weddings in the country in a direct violation of international law.
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