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British government must fulfil commitments on disclosure - Kelly

9 December, 2015 - by Gerry Kelly

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has said the British government must fulfil its commitments on releasing information to relatives of those killed during the conflict. 

Mr Kelly said; 

"The issues raised in last night's Spotlight programme highlight why no agreement could be reached on dealing with the legacy of the past during the recent negotiations. 

"The reason why agreement could not be reached was the British government's insistence on maintaining a blanket veto on the release of relevant information to families. 

"We recognised there are concerns about the release of some sensitive information and compliance with Article 2 obligations of the ECHR  – the right to life – and that is why Sinn Féin brought forward genuine proposals to address any legitimate concerns. 

"To address the clear imbalance between the British government's national security concerns and the families' right to have access to relevant information Sinn Féin put forward three key principles. 

"Our proposals were; 

"That national security can never be used as a reason to withhold information in relation to deaths from the conflict;

"That information should be disclosed to the maximum extent that it does not endanger anyone's life;

"And that information should be disclosed in a manner that does not impact on current methodologies around national security.

"We feel that these principles, in conjunction with the two options offered by our party of full discretion regarding the release of information for the director of the HIU or the adoption of an independent international panel to adjudicate on disputes around disclosure issues offers a reasonable, practical and acceptable way forward for both the British government and for all families and victims."

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