Innocent victims of terrorism who were killed, maimed or otherwise injured have constantly been put on an equal footing with the perpetrators of acts of terrorism which led to the death or injuries of their victims. On many occasions Ulster Human Rights Watch respectfully challenged Ms Judith Thompson, the Victims and Survivors Commissioner, to take a stand for and champion the cause of victims of terrorism.
It is therefore, as she leaves the post, a matter of great disappointment and hurt that throughout her tenure the Victims and Survivors Commissioner did not appear to question the ‘interpretation’ of ‘victim and survivor’ provided in the Victims and Survivors (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 – a position she may have sincerely held to – but in the opinion of the UHRW and victims of terrorism we represent, a position which was sincerely wrong.
It is now essential and a matter of priority that the future Commissioner addresses this vital issue of a proper definition of victim of terrorism, as being victims of crime, as a result of the Troubles. Only by doing this will a way be opened to adequately address and resolve the legacy of the past.