The human rights charity, Ulster Human Rights Watch (UHRW), has written to the British and Irish Governments urging a re-think of legacy proposals in order ‘to prevent the glorification and justification of terrorism.’
The Lurgan-based organisation that represents innocent victims of terrorism sets out its concern following publication of the UK Government’s Command Paper.
Letters to the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Brandon Lewis MP, and Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD, states that UK Government proposals ‘are both unnecessary and unreliable’ and says victims of terrorism view them as ‘totally unacceptable.’
The letter urges the Government to abandon its proposal to introduce a statute of limitations which, in effect, is an amnesty.
It states: “The Consultation was supposedly designed to find an agreement between interested parties, in particular with victims of terrorism, as to how best to deal with the legacy of the past.
“We have been told that nothing has been decided yet and that apparently both the UK and Irish Governments are still considering the best way forward.
“However, the various meetings we have had to date with representatives of the NIO and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have heightened our concerns that neither Government has any intention of reintroducing the possibility of seeing justice done about Troubles-related cases.
“We would insist once again that the Government abandon its proposal to introduce a statute of limitations (in effect an amnesty) for Troubles-related terrorist crimes, especially as these proposals will only encourage terrorists and their sympathisers to justify their engagement in terrorist activities.
“There is a viable alternative to the Command Paper proposals (which we have advised both Governments of on a number of occasions) and we would ask the Government to review its approach for dealing with the legacy of the past in order to ensure the possibility of justice being done where evidence exists and to prevent the glorification and justification of terrorism.”