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We need a statutory process of truth recovery – Adams

11 August, 2013 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD is speaking at today’s march and rally in west Belfast in support of the families of the Ballymurphy Massacre – 11 local people who were killed by the British Parachute regiment in the immediate aftermath of the introduction of internment on August 9th 1971.

Speaking this morning in advance of the march the Sinn Féin leader make clear his support for the families new initiative which “seeks the appointment of an Independent Panel to examine all of the documents relating to the context, circumstances and aftermath of the deaths of their loved ones. The Panel would investigate the role of the British Government, British Army, and criminal justice agencies such as the RUC, DPP, the Coroner’s Office and the significance of the media; secure the public disclosure of all of the available documents and publish a detailed, comprehensive report.”

The Sinn Féin President has also called again for the establishment of an international based independent truth Commission.

He said: “In recent months I have worked closely with the Stack family to secure answers to questions they have had for many years. The process we put in place was entirely ad hoc and informal.

“Unlike the Saville or Smithwick inquiries, there were no legal protections for anyone participating. That makes such a process fraught with difficulties.

“The Ballymurphy families and many other families also want answers to questions relating to the deaths of loved ones killed by British state forces, by republican organisations or unionist paramilitaries.

“My experience in working with victims’ families has convinced me that only a statutory process of truth recovery facilitated by an acceptable international agency holds any prospect of addressing the needs of victims and families.”

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