Threats and The Attempted Intimidation of Human Rights Law Professor
Amnesty International today issues a statement calling on the British Government to act to ensure the safety of Prof. Colin Harvey and protect freedom of expression.
Professor Harvey an outspoken supporter of the Good Friday Agreement has been active in calls to prepare, plan and promote Irish Unity.
The Good Friday Agreement provides a peaceful and democratic pathway to Irish unity and makes explicit that there can be no place for threats of violence.
Yet in advocating for these provisions Professor Harvey has been subjected to a years-long campaign of vilification and threat by those opposed to Irish Unity.
This campaign escalated in recent weeks and raises concerns about Professor Harvey’s safety and, more broadly, the ability of academics and other individuals to participate in such public policy debates in Northern Ireland without fear as to their personal safety and professional standing.
Amnesty International statement read,
“....public vilification of Professor Harvey has increased and he has become the subject of media and social media comment directly or indirectly alleging that he has abused his academic role or may otherwise have acted inappropriately. Further social media commentary has accused him of support for illegal armed violence and alignment with Nazism. One comment said he “should be stripped of his position… Colin Harvey is a snake. Get rid.”
Amnesty International calls on the United Kingdom authorities and academic institutions in Northern Ireland to take all steps necessary to ensure the protection of Professor Harvey and of all individuals exercising their right to freedom of expression, including academic freedom, in line with its international human rights obligations.”