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British government must not administer any 'Truth' commission

27 September, 2004

Speaking at an Agreed Ireland Forum event at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton Sinn Féin Human Rights Spokesperson, Catriona Ruane said that the British government should not be allowed to administer or control any 'Truth' process that may emerge as part of the Peace Process.

At the debate, titled ' does the North need a Truth Commission', Ms Ruane said:

"I welcome the debate on whether the North of Ireland requires the establishment of a 'Truth Commission'. Sinn Féin has been to the fore in support of the relatives of victims seeking full disclosure of the circumstances of the deaths of loved ones.

"We believe that it is a part of healing and dealing with the hurt of the past. But if there is to be a statutory 'Truth Commission' then it needs to be totally independent and deal with the conflict in a comprehensive manner. There can be no hierarchy of victims and all of the protagonists need to be willing to co-operate with it fully and openly.

"Under no circumstances can the British government set the parameters of such a commission and it must also be willing to co-operate fully with it.

"The British government and its agencies were one of the main protagonists in the conflict and acted with impunity throughout the past thirty-five years. It therefore cannot set itself up as the arbiter in any Truth Commission."

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