Mr Muir – himself a member of Amnesty International – guaranteed his support as he welcomed the North Down Amnesty group to the Parlour this week, praising the work the local group undertakes as ‘extensive and extremely valuable’.
Speaking at the event, Mayor Andrew Muir said: “Life as a Human Rights defender isn’t easy and can often feel like a lonely place in the face of criticism, but despite this you continue raising awareness and striving to keep people alive, free from persecution, discrimination and intolerance.
“Locally we are lucky to live under the European Convention of Human Rights, created to ensure past evils perpetrated across Europe never can occur again.
“It is out challenge to ensure this approach prevails in all bodies and all states signed up to the convention. The implementation of European Court decisions by some should be a serious cause for concern, with the compliance rate dropping from 90 percent in the late 90s to below 50 percent now – with Russia and Ukraine some of the worst offenders.
“Working as one we can enhance rather than diminish the rights of men and women across the world. Each time we speak out against injustice momentum grows towards a fairer world that cherishes life and the right to speak out and live freely.
“I look forward to working with Amnesty International in the year ahead, standing with them and speaking out for freedom and human rights everywhere.”