Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has said the incoming British Prime Minister must now listen to the voices of victims and families and bin the flawed legacy legislation without delay.
Speaking ahead of a major demonstration taking place in Belfast on Sunday 11 September, the North Belfast MLA said:
“On Sunday 11 September families bereaved by the British state will be hosting a rally at Belfast City Hall to express their total opposition to the Tory government’s amnesty bill.
“This Bill will provide an amnesty for British state forces and deny families their basic legal rights to an inquest, an independent investigation and to pursue civil actions.
“This Bill prioritises the demands of the British military over the legal rights of victims of state violence. It really is another slap in the face to the many victims and families, some of whom have been campaigning for over 50 years, for truth, justice and acknowledgement as it seeks to cover up Britain’s dirty war in Ireland.
“It is deeply concerning that despite victims and families, political parties, the Irish government, the Human Rights Commission and leading figures in both the US and EU highlighting major flaws with this legislation, the British government has ploughed ahead unilaterally and fast-tracked this Bill through Westminster.
“Families are in no doubt that the main objective of the legislation is to close down any further independent scrutiny or investigation, and cover up the role of British state forces in the conflict.
“Any approach to legacy matters must be human rights compliant, must uphold the rights of victims and must uphold the rule of law.
“What families need to hear is that their legal rights will be protected and they also need the mechanisms agreed at Stormont House in 2014 by political parties and the Irish and British governments implemented in a human rights compliant manner.
“The incoming British Prime Minister must now listen to the voices of victims and families and bin this flawed legislation without further delay.”
The meeting points for onward rally to Belfast City Hall on Sunday 11 September at 12:00 noon will be at Divis Tower, Falls Road, the McGurks Memorial, North Queen Street and Cromac Square in Belfast City Centre.