A United Nations representatives has sparked outrage after attacking sentences handed out to Just Stop Oil protesters who caused carnage on the M25 bridge.
Activists Marcus Decker and Morgan Trowland were convicted of causing a public nuisance after stopping traffic for almost 40 hours.
The pair climbed the cables supporting the Queen Elizabeth II suspension bridge in Dartford, Kent, last October.
Decker was imprisoned for two years and seven months and Trowland was handed a three year sentence.
WATCH NOW: Jacob Rees-Mogg clashes with a Just Stop Oil activist
The punishments have been described as the longest passed on non-violent protesters in the UK.
Ian Fry, the UN’s rapporteur for climate change and human rights, said he was “particularly concerned” about the sentences.
He claimed they were “significantly more severe than previous sentences imposed for this type of offending in the past”.
Fry added: “I am gravely concerned about the potential flow-on effect that the severity of the sentences could have on civil society and the work of activists, expressing concerns about the triple planetary crisis and, in particular, the impacts of climate change on human rights and on future generations.”
He also asked the Government to explain “why, in light of the current climate crisis, it was necessary to introduce and pass the Public Order Act and how both the Public Order Act and the sentencing of Mr Decker and Mr Trowland are compatible with international norms and standards”.
Supporters outside Southend Crown Court in Essex, after Morgan Trowland and Marcus Decker were sentenced
The complaint included the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Ashfield MP Lee Anderson blasted Fry for his comments about the eco-zealots.
“My personal view is that these eco-loons should get a £10,000 fine and prison time,” he told GB News.
“The UN should concentrate on righting the real wrongs in the world instead of speaking out for a bunch of middle-aged hippies who spend their days munching on avocados that have travelled half way round the world on a plane polluting the planet. Hypocrisy at the highest level.”
Red Wall MP Brendan Clarke-Smith added: “These regular daft reports and statements from Special Rapporteurs are really starting to make people question whether the UN can still be treated as a serious organisation or not.
“This is especially the case when they have inexplicably allowed Iran to chair the UN Human Rights Forum.
“They should concentrate their focus on challenging despotic regimes over their widespread abuses of human rights, rather than championing the extreme causes of spoilt activists.”
However, gay rights activist Peter Tatchell described the sentences as “outrageous”.
He added: “The Government is abusing the law against its critics.”
A spokesperson for Just Stop Oil said: “Our politicians are planning to kill countless million souls, and destroy the rights and freedoms that we have struggled to achieve.
The group has caused havoc at a number of key eventsPA
“That is the brutal reality of climate collapse, hinted at by Dr Ian Fry.
“If the government is willing to ignore a letter from the UN what chance they will listen to ordinary people writing letters to their MPs.
“We need to get on the streets, we need to resist and stand with those political prisoners jailed for defending their future.
“Slow march with us in London, from Trafalgar Square … 12 noon every day.”