Ann Clwyd

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Ann Clwyd is the Labour MP for Cynon Valley. She entered Parliament in 1984.

Raif Badawi

In January 2015 Ms Clwyd tabled Early Day Motion 720: Public Flogging of Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia, which stated:

That this House condemns the sentence of public flogging, a fine and a 10 year prison sentence imposed on Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia for freely expressing his views on the internet; is dismayed that he was given 50 lashes on 9 January 2015 in Jeddah; understands that despite postponement on medical grounds, Saudi authorities intend to carry out further flogging each week until he has received 1,000 lashes; strongly supports his right to freedom of expression; is appalled by the use of corporal punishment in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere; notes with concern Saudi Arabia's practice of holding prisoners of conscience; calls on the UK Government to take stronger action to ensure that this barbaric punishment is stopped immediately; and further calls on it also to work with its international partners to encourage the Saudi authorities to overturn his conviction and ensure his release.[1]

In June 2015 she tabled Early Day Motion 113: Case of Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia, which stated:

That this House is appalled that the sentence handed down last May against Saudi blogger and activist Raif Badawi, of flogging, to be administered very harshly in public, with 50 lashes scheduled once a week for 20 weeks, as well as 10 years' imprisonment and a fine of one million riyals, has been upheld by the Saudi Arabia Supreme Court; notes that no further judicial appeal is possible and that his flogging may resume on 12 June 2015; deplores this cruel and inhumane punishment which seriously injured Mr Badawi when he was given 50 lashes in January 2015 and poses a serious risk to his life; continues to strongly support his right to freedom of expression and that of all Saudi Arabian citizens; and calls on the Government to strongly condemn the use of this barbaric punishment and to press King Salman bin Abdulaziz to grant Mr Badawi clemency and allow him to join his family in Canada.[2]

Female Genital Mutilation

Ms Clwyd introduced the 2003 Female Genital Mutilation Bill (now Act) as a private member's bill[3]. It extended the previous 1985 legislation by making it illegal for UK nationals to perform female genital mutilation outside the UK, and by increasing the maximum penalty from five to fourteen years.

Libel Law Reform

In December 2009, Ann Clwyd signed Early Day Motion 423 calling for a reform of the English libel law[4]. The motion noted that human rights activists, scientists, writers and journalists are currently prevented from publishing, and the public prevented from reading, matters of strong public interest due to the chilling effect of the law.

The motion was tabled following the recent formation of Libel Reform Coalition, which has the backing of Index on Censorship, English PEN and Sense about Science. Sense about Science have been campaigning in defense of a member of its board of trustees, author and journalist Simon Singh, who has been sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association. They issued a statement entitled "The law has no place in scientific disputes".

Climate Change

In February 2010, Ann Clwyd signed Early Day Motion 524: Recognising Climate Change which states that "this House agrees that climate change is happening and is man-made" and calls this statement a "fact, which has the support of the overwhelming majority of the scientific community"[5].

Same-Sex Marriage

Ann Clwyd voted in favour of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill at both its second reading in February 2013[6] and its third reading in May 2013[7].

Mitochondrial Donation

In February 2015 Ann Clwyd voted in favour of allowing mitochondrial donation, which would allow women who carried mitochondrial diseases to give birth to children who would not inherit the disease[8]. An October 2014 briefing report by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which had been investigating the issue for three years, stated that there was no evidence to show that mitochondrial donation was unsafe[9]. However, some religious groups had said that such procedures should not be allowed[10]. After clearing both Houses mitochondrial donation is now legal, regulated by the HFEA.

References

  1. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/720
  2. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2015-16/113
  3. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/vo030321/debtext/30321-01.htm
  4. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/423
  5. http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2009-10/524
  6. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-02-05&number=151&mpn=Ann_Clwyd
  7. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2013-05-21&number=11&mpn=Ann_Clwyd
  8. http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2015-02-03&number=147&mpn=Ann_Clwyd
  9. http://www.hfea.gov.uk/docs/2014-10-01_Mitochondrial_donation__an_introductory_briefing_note_-_final.pdf
  10. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31063500

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