Results 141–160 of 682 for speaker:Alicia Kearns

foreign affairs committee ( 6 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: Thank you, Mr Davies; it is a joy to make the statement under your chairmanship. I thank the House for making time for this important statement today. Before I address the substance of the report, I pay tribute to all the former hostages and families who contributed to the inquiry, many of whom are here today. I know that today’s discussion will not be easy for them. Their testimonies were...

foreign affairs committee ( 6 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: I thank the hon. Lady for all the work that she did. As our report showed, it matters when MPs take up these cases, but it should not fall to us to take them up, and that is exactly the point she is making. We have a duty to know the families and to be reassuring, but it is difficult. When I was a Foreign Office official, I was given the duty of supporting the family of someone who was being...

foreign affairs committee ( 6 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question, and I want to apologise for having my back to everybody in the Public Gallery—it is parliamentary courtesy to address the Chair. The Committee did look at dual nationality very carefully. The problem is that some of the worst perpetrators of this heinous crime, and particularly Iran, do not recognise dual nationality. For example, Morad Tahbaz is...

foreign affairs committee ( 6 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his question and for his long-standing and absolute commitment to Jagtar Singh Johal and his family. It is an incredibly disturbing case: a man who was arrested while on his honeymoon to a country, and who to this day has still not been charged for supposedly leading some sort of—I do not know—counter-revolutionary effort. The reality is that there are no...

Hong Kong Pro-democracy Activists ( 6 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: The bounties placed on the heads of those fleeing Chinese Communist party repression and autocracy are not just outrageous but a blatant violation of international law. They also expose the lies of Xi Jinping when he says that he is respecting freedoms within Hong Kong. We must take a stand against transnational repression to protect British nationals and those seeking refuge in the UK. Only...

Violence in the West Bank ( 4 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: We stand on the precipice of the Gaza crisis of 2023 and the third intifada. Yesterday, an Israeli military incursion into the Jenin refugee camp resulted in the deaths of more than 10 refugees. Hundreds were injured and, as the hon. Member for Cynon Valley (Beth Winter) says, the ensuing gun battle has prevented civilians from getting the aid and medical care they need. Today, five Israeli...

Srebrenica Memorial Week — [Sir Robert Syms in the Chair] ( 4 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: I thank my right hon. Friend for setting out some of the areas in which the UK is investing to help Bosnia and Herzegovina to build its resistance—I recognise that that is in her brief. I remember writing the conflict, stability and security fund programme for Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2017. Unfortunately, the challenges remain, which suggests that either I did a very bad job, or the...

Srebrenica Memorial Week — [Sir Robert Syms in the Chair] ( 4 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: Before my election. I lobbied the Government to create an atrocity prevention centre. They have now done so, and we have the conflict centre—I do not mind the different name, as long as it does the work. It is doing some really interesting work, particularly on Ukraine. The point is that the desk officer for Mongolia has no training on what to do if they start to see the signs of genocide...

Srebrenica Memorial Week — [Sir Robert Syms in the Chair] ( 4 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: It is an honour to serve under your chairmanship, Sir Robert. I thank the hon. Member for Bolton South East (Yasmin Qureshi) and the right hon. Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber (Ian Blackford) for sponsoring and securing this important debate with me. It is particularly fitting that we are having this debate as the President of Bosnia is here in the UK today. I very much hope that the...

Srebrenica Memorial Week — [Sir Robert Syms in the Chair] ( 4 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: My hon. Friend’s point stands for itself. He has my wholehearted support.

Srebrenica Memorial Week — [Sir Robert Syms in the Chair] ( 4 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: I agree entirely. Remembering Srebrenica does not just commemorate; as the right hon. Gentleman said, it tells stories to educate, and there has never been a more important time to educate people about what happened to the Balkans. I will come on to that point shortly. We cannot discuss Srebrenica without discussing the Mothers of Srebrenica, who went through the most unimaginable loss. Their...

Srebrenica Memorial Week — [Sir Robert Syms in the Chair] ( 4 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: It is so important that if I make that point, I do so with the whole support of the House, so I thank hon. Members for attending today’s debate, because it gives me the ability to speak up and say that it is not just me saying this; the whole House wants to see this. It is our job to make sure that we create the circumstances in which reckless decisions cannot be taken by Dodik and others....

Srebrenica Memorial Week — [Sir Robert Syms in the Chair] ( 4 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: I thank the hon. Lady. I remember that my first visit to Srebrenica was with former British serving members of special forces who had not returned there since they had served in Bosnia. I saw the trauma in their faces, the pain and the knowing in them that there is a risk that violence could once more return to the places where they had hidden in a dugout for 10 days and seen children shot in...

Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill ( 3 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: rose—

Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill ( 3 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: My hon. Friend knows the incredibly high esteem I hold her in, but it just is not credible to keep repeating that this does not change how we treat the Golan Heights, which have been annexed, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Foreign Office’s own legal advice states that the Bill could breach UNSC 2334. How am I being told repeatedly from the Dispatch Box that that is not the...

Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill ( 3 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: This evening’s debate should focus on the specifics of the Bill in front of us. The right of Israel to exist and defend itself is not up for debate. The right of Palestine to exist and defend itself is also not up for debate. The UK supports a two-state solution, and I believe that everyone in the Chamber would also be of that mind. I wish to draw the attention of hon. Members to the...

Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill ( 3 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: I have received significant representations from human rights organisations within Israel, and also from within our Jewish communities in the UK, who feel that this is not only the worst possible timing for the Bill, but that they themselves do not support it. If we are now to have questioned our position on the OPTs legally, how is the Bill compatible with that, and with the fact that the...

Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill ( 3 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: I am not aware whether we do, but that would be legitimate within the current UN Security Council restrictions so I would not necessarily oppose it. What I am saying is that we would not necessarily support Israel being boycotted, but we would support a boycott of products from the occupied territories, because we consider them to be illegal or annexed.

Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill ( 3 Jul 2023)

Alicia Kearns: Inherently, the hon. Lady makes a valid point, although it is potentially a different discussion. There is a fundamental question around whether we should be boycotting or bringing in goods. As the House knows, I have been vocal in ensuring that goods coming from genocide are not imported from across China. We must have a standard response across all countries. To sum up, my concern is that...


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