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Sinn Féin welcome progress on additional powers for Human Rights Commission

17 December, 2004


Sinn Féin Human Rights, Equality and Women's spokesperson, South Down MLA Caitríona Ruane has welcomed the British government decision that the Human Rights Commission should have the power to access places of detention and the to compel evidence and witnesses as a key demand of Sinn Féin during recent negotiations.

Ms Ruane said:

"The additional powers for the Human Rights Commission, to have full access to places of detention and the power to compel evidence and witnesses, was a key Sinn Féin demand during recent negotiations.

"In this context we welcome the British government's decision that the current situation will be rectified. We will be analysing the detail to ensure that it allows the Human Rights Commission to perform at accepted international standards.

"Sinn Fein also welcome the decision to re-advertise for the post of Chief Commissioner after failure to find a suitable candidate. It is vital that the commission has a chief commissioner who has genuine credentials and the ability to drive the human rights agenda with the required level of experience, expertise and impartiality." ENDS

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