Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has described comments today by the British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace as ‘insulting and disrespectful to victims of the conflict who have waited decades for truth and justice’ about the killings of their loved ones.
And the Sinn Féin member of the Policing Board called on the British government to halt its unacceptable Legacy Bill.
Gerry Kelly said:
“Comments by the British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace that the British government’s flawed legacy bill will end a ‘merry go round of legacy inquests’ are insulting and disrespectful to the families of victims of the conflict who have waited decades for truth and justice.
“His comments are arrogant, callous and completely unacceptable.
“Access to the courts and to due process is a human right.
“After decades of cover-up and obstruction by the British State the Tory government’s legacy bill is now attempting to pull down the shutters on the efforts of families of victims to achieve truth and justice through the courts.
“And it will give an amnesty to British state forces who killed Irish citizens.
“Amendments to the bill proposed by the British government do not deal with the substantive issue of victims being entitled to access to due process.
“In fact this legislation is about denying victims access to the coroner’s courts, independent investigations of the killings of their loved ones and the ability to take civil cases.
“It has been roundly rejected by victims and families, human rights experts, churches, the UN, and senior officials in the EU and US administration and all the political parties on this island.
“The legacy bill is in breach of human rights standards and International law and should be scrapped now.”