It’s a really sad state of affairs when your own Government turns its back on some of the most vulnerable in society … made vulnerable through no fault of their own.
That’s our position over the Shawcross Report and the dogged refusal of this Government to use frozen assets of the Libyan dictator Gaddafi to compensate innocent victims of PIRA terrorism.
Gaddafi supplied tons of explosives and arms to the terrorists, effectively prolonging the terrorist campaign and creating many more innocent victims.
This is a shameful story. The Government has rejected calls to use any of the frozen £12 billion in assets, maintaining compensation was a matter for the Libyan state. There’s not a word about the millions that have been accrued in interest.
Libya is a wrecked state attempting to reconstruct and restore political stability. Government pressure that has been applied to date has been feeble and wholly inadequate.
Don’t forget, there is a precedent for Libya paying compensation. It paid $1 million to the families of each of the US victims of the Lockerbie bombing following a focused and determined drive by the American administration.
The obvious question screams off the page: why, if the Americans can do it, can our Government not secure a similar outcome?
This shocking story will rumble on. The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at Westminster seems determined to maintain the pressure on the government. In that, the committee will have the full support of Ulster Human Rights Watch.