Motion S5M-09905: Free Asia Bibi

17 Jan 2018

That the Parliament deplores reports of the ongoing incarceration in Pakistan of Asia Bibi under charges of blasphemy; understands that Asia was accused of insulting Muhammad following an argument with other women while picking berries in 2009; further understands that, in 2010, she was sentenced to death and has been on death row since; believes that Asia’s appeal against her conviction has been delayed multiple times, with the chief justice declining a request for a hearing in 2017 being the most recent development; considers that this case highlights the problems with the blasphemy laws in Pakistan and the extremes that many of the backers of the law will go to defend them, for example in Asia’s case; understands that both Shahbaz Bhatti, who was a government minister, and Salmaan Taseer, who was the Governor for Punjab province, were both assassinated for advocating on her behalf against these laws; believes that all citizens in Scotland, Pakistan and elsewhere should have freedom to hold any or no religion or belief, and calls on the Pakistani Government to repeal its laws of blasphemy and to look again at the case of Asia Bibi before she has to spend another year on death row.

Motion S5M-09772: Fat Cat Thursday

09 Jan 2018

That the Parliament notes so-called Fat Cat Thursday on 4 January 2018, which is the date in the new year by which top chief executives will have earned more than the average UK salary; understands that the figures are calculated by the High Pay Centre (HPC) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD); further understands that the average chief executive earns 120 times more than the average full-time employee, in spite of a reported fall in pay to top execs of a fifth; agrees with Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, that “we need a radical rethink on how and why we reward chief executives, taking into account a much more balanced scorecard of success beyond financial outcomes and looking more broadly at areas like people management”; believes that there is still much work to be done in tackling the problems of inequality that it considers have grown under poor management of consecutive UK governments, and calls on the UK Government to take further steps to curb excessive pay gaps in the workplace.

Motion S5M-09765: Offensive Behaviour at Football

09 Jan 2018

That the Parliament deplores the reported behaviour of some Falkirk FC fans at a recent match with Dunfermline Athletic FC regarding a player with a disability; welcomes that Falkirk FC has apologised unreservedly for the “abhorrent behaviour” of some individuals; considers that hatred towards or discrimination against disabled people is unacceptable in any walk of life, including in football; believes that there is a tendency for some fans to express more offensive behaviour at football than in their normal lives, and hopes that any review of hate crime in Scotland will take particular account of problems affecting football.

Motion S5M-09768: Rohingya Muslims

09 Jan 2018

That the Parliament deplores the reported military crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim population in Burma, which it understands has been described by the UN as “ethnic cleansing”; believes that the Rohingya are considered by many to be the “world’s most persecuted minority”, with them reportedly being denied citizenship and left effectively stateless since the country’s formation; understands that the recent military crackdown was ostensibly launched in response to attacks on police stations and, since then, the violence has grown; notes with concern reports of mass rapes, burned villages and displacement of more than half a million people by the military; deplores the decision reportedly taken by Burma to ban Yanghee Lee, a UN special rapporteur, from visiting the country; understands that the vast majority of the Rohingya refugees are sheltering in Bangladesh, with a deal to repatriate them to Burma being discussed by the two countries; notes the widespread concern, including by residents of the Glasgow Shettleston constituency, regarding the ongoing crisis in Burma/Myanmar, and notes the belief that extra pressure from the international community is essential to stop the violence and reach a lasting settlement.