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McGuinness supports Bloody Sunday Families demands

23 February, 2010

Speaking today Martin McGuinness MP, MLA has reiterated his support of the Bloody Sunday Families demand that Saville provide them with a copy of his Report at the same time as he presents it to the British Government.

Martin McGuinness said:

“I have been appraised by the families on the situation surrounding the publication of the Saville Report into the murders in Derry on Bloody Sunday 1972. I share the concerns of the families in that they feel it is imperative that they receive the Report at the same time as the British government. In fact I am of the firm belief that consideration of the families legitimate requests should take primacy over any consideration of the British government or its paratroopers who were responsible for the massacre of innocents in Derry on 30th January 1972. The families and their legal representatives should have sight of this report in full.

The fact is that the Saville Inquiry, as a public body, discharges the same responsibilities regarding the right to life under Article 2 of the Human Rights Act and gives the same consideration to what the British government refers to as ‘national security’ concerns as the government itself. Therefore there is no logical reason for the British Secretary of State to be in receipt of the Report 14 days before its publication. Other Inquiries – the latest being the Hutton Inquiry in 2005 despite posing the same concerns around ‘right to life’ and so called ‘national security’ issues was not subject to this period of examination by government before it was released simultaneously to all interested parties and government. As a public body Saville takes full responsibility in fulfilling the British government’s responsibilities in these areas.

“For the report to be in possession of the British government 14 days is an attempt to give unfair advantage to the British government over the families and is unacceptable. This can only give rise to suspicions of interference and attempts to portray the actions of the British government of the day and its armed forces in the best possible light. This is contrary to natural justice. Openness and transparency is paramount. There should be no proofing or editing of the report before the families have sight of it - only full disclosure of the findings of the Inquiry is acceptable.

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