Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson and justice campaigners Niall Murphy of Relatives for Justice and Paul O’Connor of the Pat Finucane Centre met with senior officials from the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commission in Strasbourg to discuss state killings and torture in Ireland.
The delegation raised the failure of the British government to properly investigate state and state-sponsored killings in Ireland in breach of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. They also raised new evidence that the British government had lied to the European Court of Human Rights on the torture of 14 people known as the ‘hooded men’.
Martina Anderson said:
"I arranged these consultations following a series of successful meetings I hosted in Brussels in January when over 30 representatives and family members of victims of British State violence met with a number of MEPs and EU Officials.
“This week we discussed with the Council of Europe HR Commissioner, Britain's violation of article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) ‘the Right to Life.
“This obliges the state to carry out a proper investigation of such violations and hence the right to truth.
“We also raised new evidence uncovered which shows the British government lied to the European Court on the case of 14 hooded men tortured after the introduction of internment in 1971.”
Niall Murphy and Paul O’Connor took the Commissioner through documentary evidence of an official state policy of ‘collusion’ between the British Security Services and loyalist paramilitaries.
“They also made it clear that a ‘Package of Measures’ such as the Historical Enquiries Team, Police Ombudsman and the reform of Coroner's Inquests put in place by the British government to address its human rights' violations were all abject operational failures because it was unwilling to adequately fund and equip them to carry out the work they are allegedly set up to do.”
“We asserted our belief that the Ombudsman's office should have the power to compel former RUC officers to cooperate with its investigations."