Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has provoked anger after lauding the UK’s role in the United Nations and its commitment to the “values” of the organization, with many disagreeing and pointing to the treatment of Julian Assange.
Raab posted on social media on Friday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the birth of the UN, when 50 nations, including the UK, came together to sign the Charter.
The foreign minister said: “Since then, we have played a crucial role in the @UN and remain committed to upholding its values.”
75 years ago, the 🇬🇧 alongside 49 other nations signed the @UN Charter 🇺🇳. Since then, we have played a crucial role in the @UN and remain committed to upholding its values. From #coronavirus to #climatechange, international collaboration is key to addressing global issues. #UN75
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) June 26, 2020
The minister’s virtuous tone riled many on Twitter, with critics accusing Raab of double standards – and even of being “deluded.”
The case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose treatment at Belmarsh Prison has amounted to “torture” according to UN Rapporteur Nils Melzer, was highlighted as an example of the UK’s double standards.
One commenter sarcastically remarked: “Fantastic news. When are you going to stop the persecution and torture of Julian Assange?” Another accused Raab and the UK government of “repeatedly ignoring” UN recommendations when it comes to the detained Australian publisher.
I don’t think so Mr Raab your government has ignored its international obligations repeatedly ignoring UN opinions and recommendations in the Julian #Assange case! Your government is torturing him! pic.twitter.com/vSxsH7bSPW
— Emmy Butlin (@greekemmy) June 26, 2020
Mark Curtis, editor of Declassified UK, hit out at Raab for “mind-numbing” “doublethink,” in professing his support for the UN and its “principles.”
When it comes to criticism from UN officials, Britain has a track record of refusing to apologize. In 2019, responding to UN poverty envoy Dr Philip Alston’s assessment that levels of child poverty in the UK were “not just a disgrace,