Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has welcomed opposition to the British government’s planned amnesty for British state forces by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights.
The North Belfast MLA said:
“Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill wrote to the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović, last week raising serious concerns around these amnesty proposals for British forces and urging Europe to fulfil its international obligation to uphold, protect and safeguard human rights by directly challenging the British Government.
“I welcome the intervention of Commissioner Dunja Mijatović, that the British government’s amnesty plan is ‘a step backwards’ which could obstruct reconciliation.
“She has stated that ‘taking the option of investigations and prosecutions off the table, unilaterally, undoubtedly fails to meet the wishes of a significant group of victims’ and ‘the absence of justice can be a major impediment to achieving lasting peace and reconciliation’.
Gerry Kelly added:
“There is no support for the British government’s proposals which will give an amnesty to British soldiers who killed Irish civilians and shut down victims’ and families’ access to the courts.
“Victims of the conflict and their families cannot be denied access to the courts in pursuit of truth and justice.
“Sinn Féin will continue to press for the implementation of the Stormont House legacy mechanisms in a human rights compliant manner.”