Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Human Rights Commission report justifies calls to scrap referendum

25 May, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Human Rights Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has described today's observations of the Human Rights Commission in relation to the citizenship referendum as "a damning indictment of the Government's proposal" that "justify calling a halt to the poll on 11 June."

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "today's report from the Human Rights Commission is a damning indictment of the Government's proposal. It confirms my contention that the Government has deceived the public in order to muscle through its ill-conceived and racist referendum.

"The Commission found that Minister McDowell's so-called facts and evidence were 'not adequately researched or analysed' and that much of the evidence is 'vague and anecdotal' and thereby 'insufficient' to allow anyone to draw inferences as to the motives of non-national parents giving birth in Ireland.

"In contradiction to the Government view, the Commission also found that the Referendum could potentially have an impact on the Good Friday Agreement, and that the Government should have consulted with the northern parties in the Assembly. This conclusion has vindicated our position which was dismissed out of hand by the Government.

"The Commission also criticises the Government for their failure to give serious and comprehensive consideration to the impact of the referendum on Constitutional rights and the Government's obligations under international law in relation to children's rights, and that the Government has not proven - as they are obliged to - that the initiative will not lead to discrimination in the enjoyment of rights or that it will be applied in a discriminatory fashion.

"The Government must take notice of this report and call a halt to the citizenship referendum on 11 June. If they do not, the people of Ireland must take notice of this report, and vote NO." ENDS

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