Amnesty International Bermuda said on Tuesday: "When offering the Uighurs asylum in Bermuda, we believe the intent was to provide them with a fresh start and grant them their basic human rights under the [Universal Declaration of Human Rights]." *File photo
Amnesty International Bermuda said on Tuesday: "When offering the Uighurs asylum in Bermuda, we believe the intent was to provide them with a fresh start and grant them their basic human rights under the [Universal Declaration of Human Rights]." *File photo

TUESDAY, JAN. 22: [With regard to the] Uighurs in Bermuda…

Where an issue is emotive or gives rise to emotional responses we have a joint responsibility to (1) put ourselves in the shoes of the party that is seeking a level playing field and (2) we should always remember the facts.

The facts: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is the accepted foundation of international human rights law; adopted by the UN General Assembly in Geneva on 10th December 1948.

The UDHR consists of 30 Articles and represents the universal recognition that basic rights and fundamental freedoms are inherent to all human beings, and that every one of us is born free and equal in dignity and rights. Bermuda subscribes to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:

  • Article 13, (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. (2). Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
  • Article 14, (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution. (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
  • Article 15 (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality. (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

Putting ourselves in the shoes of others: Bermudians have always enjoyed travelling and to curtail that is a true curtailment of freedom. When offering the Uighurs asylum in Bermuda, we believe the intent was to provide them with a fresh start and grant them their basic human rights under the UDHR.

The call for issuance of Bermuda status is a sore subject for many residents who have been denied same over the years and understandably so. Amnesty International supports a dialogue to address this inequity which should move the country and its inhabitants to an equitable solution for all.