Following collapse of the prosecution of two soldiers, Ulster Human Rights Watch is calling on the Public Prosecution Service to carry out a review of its policies.
UHRW Advocacy Manager, Axel Schmidt, said, “This review should be carried out so that cases which have no prospect of success are not pursued and the hopes of families of those who died while involved in terrorism are not raised and then dashed.”
Yesterday, UHRW met with met Danny Kinahan, Veterans Commissioner for Northern Ireland and John Mercer MP, former UK Minister for Veterans. The discussion considered how best to deal with the prosecution of soldiers in historical cases related to the Troubles.
Mr Schmidt commented “It was made clear that former soldiers do not want an amnesty. Their duty was to protect democracy and law-abiding people’s human rights against the onslaught of terrorist activities, while acting within the law at all times. Equality for all before the law remains paramount.
“Due to the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland during the Troubles, the procedures put in place to investigate incidents involving the army do not meet with the legal standards for successful prosecutions today.
“There is now much work to be done to ensure that the mechanisms for dealing with the legacy of the past facilitate the recovery of information, so that they give a true picture of what the fight against terrorism meant for those whose duty was to protect fundamental freedoms and human rights in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.”