Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein criticises British culture of denigrating ‘bodies of international law that are now endangered’

The UN human rights chief has criticised Theresa May for comments made in the wake of recent terror attacks, accusing her of offering a “gift” to every despot who “shamelessly violates human rights under the pretext of fighting terrorism”. In a highly charged speech, the UN high commissioner for human rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, spoke of his fears that the current climate in the UK and the US is endangering laws enshrined in the postwar period of hope and reconciliation.

The prime minister’s comments, in which she called for human rights laws to be overturned if they were to “get in the way” of the fight against terrorism, were described by Hussein as “highly regrettable”, particularly in stoking anxiety among the public.

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