Watch clips from our panel at the Conservative Party Conference

Freedom from Torture CEO Sonya Sceats and Survivors Speak Out co-founder Kolbassia Haoussou were joined by Dominic Grieve MP, Bright Blue's Ryan Shorthouse and columnist Peter Oborne for a panel at the Conservative Party conference 2019.

The panel, titled 'An Authoritarian turn: How can Britain best stand up for individual rights around the world?' looked at the rise of strongmen politics - both abroad and at home.

Watch videos from the panel, and read speeches from Kolbassia and Sonya in full below.

Key quotes from the day's speeches:

"I remember 2012 very well, not just because of the London Olympics but because it was my first Conservative Party conference. I was sharing a panel with William Hague who was then Foreign Secretary. I was filled with hope, and proud to be part of Britain.

"I remember saying on the panel that this is what this country – the UK - is about. Standing up against Human Rights abuse, standing with survivors/victims, and above all, against authoritarian regimes of any kind and form.

"I was proud to talk not only as a campaigner but also as a survivor of torture and refugee myself.

"Fast forward 7 years on and again I am at the Conservative party conference. But things feel a bit different. I am no longer filled with hope, but feel disappointed. The recent language and actions of this government worry me.

"Defence Secretary Ben Wallace is planning a new law to block prosecution of British soldiers accused of war crimes abroad more than 10 years ago, potentially including torture. When Donald Trump said that torture absolutely works, UK leaders remained silent. This is dangerous."

- Kolbassia Haoussou, Survivors Speak Out

"Over the years more than 60,000 people have been referred to us for rehabilitation or medical documentation of torture injuries.

"The torture survivors we help come from failed states, collapsing states, dictatorial states, authoritarian states.

"In all these countries, the rule of law has disappeared or was never present in the first place. In such places, those fighting for freedom and democracy see Britain, to quote former PM Theresa May, as a “beacon of hope”.

"Many of the people we support were tortured because they campaigned for precisely the sorts of checks on power that are the hallmark of the British system.

"So when thinking about how Britain can best stand up for individual rights across the world, we need to start by continuing to set an example. We need to stand up for the rule of law here in Britain by defending the role of Parliament and the Courts in ensuring our PM and his government stay within the law."We need to resist the politics of hate in this country and any incitement to political violence, which is how outbreaks of the worst human rights abuses always start.

- Sonya Sceats, CEO, Freedom from Torture

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