A HUMAN rights organisation has called on MPs to oppose two of the government’s new bills which have been described as a “raid on rights”.

Amnesty Brighton met MPs in Brighton to discuss two bills currently going through parliament – the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill, as well as the nationality and borders bill.

Members of the group met with Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton, Pavilion, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Labour MP for Kemptown and Peter Kyle, Labour MP for Hove, to discuss the two bills as part of Amnesty’s national week of action.

The police, crime, sentencing and courts bill came under fire for the government’s power to ban demonstrations, while the nationality and borders bill is being criticised for reducing “the right for people to seek asylum in the UK”.

The Argus: 'Kill the bill' protests in May.'Kill the bill' protests in May.

Andrew Rose, secretary for Amnesty Brighton, said the MPs were urged to “stand up for the values this country is famous for” by opposing the legislation in parliament.

He said: “It took ordinary people a very long time to win these rights and we must not let them be taken away with the stroke of a pen.

“Justice, fairness, offering a place of safety and the right to peacefully protest have always been key features of British society. All of them are under threat as never before.

“We are calling on all MPs to oppose this raid on rights and stand up for the values this country is famous for.”

Mr Rose added that the bills have a “lack of clarity” and need to be more specific.

Currently, it is unclear whether the nationality and borders bill would affect RNLI volunteers who help asylum seekers in distress on the English Channel.

The Argus: People thought to be migrants being helped by RNLI in Kent. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.People thought to be migrants being helped by RNLI in Kent. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire.

Draft legislation clause 38 under the 1971 immigration act states that anyone assisting unlawful immigration into the UK could face the maximum sentence to life imprisonment, from 14 years.

The RNLI spoke out about this in July after facing criticism for its rescue work, stating that their “volunteer lifeboat crews will always go to the aid of those in danger at sea".

The three MPs were “committed” to opposing the two bills, said Amnesty Brighton.

Mr Rose said: “They were all committed to opposing the legislation in its current form when it comes into parliament again.”

Caroline Lucas told The Argus the government's plans are "dangerous".

She said: "So much of Amnesty's work has been about human rights overseas.

"The fact that there is so much for them to be concerned about here in the UK shows how dangerous this Government's plans are and how important it is that they are opposed both in and outside parliament."

The Argus: Lloyd Russell-Moyle said he will be "fighting" to oppose the current bills.Lloyd Russell-Moyle said he will be "fighting" to oppose the current bills.

While Lloyd Russell-Moyle said he will be “fighting” to oppose the controversial bills.

He said: "Brighton has always been a city which prides itself as being a place of openness, protesting against oppression and fighting for social justice.

“Amnesty International is an organisation that reflects these values, which is why it was a pleasure to meet local representatives last week.

“This government is attacking our human rights with this raft of new legislation and I’ll be fighting alongside our city in opposing them."

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