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Amnesty for British soldiers would tear up rights of victims - Hazzard

25 January, 2018 - by Chris Hazzard

Sinn Féin’s Chris Hazzard MP has said proposals for amnesty for the actions of British soldiers during the conflict will be an insult to victims who’ve waited decades for truth and justice.

The South Down MP was speaking following a protest at Westminster held by the families of those murdered in Ballymurphy Massacre, in advance of a debate on a ‘statute of limitations’ brought forward by British MPs which would grant immunity from prosecution to British state forces.

Chris Hazzard MP said:

“There must be no immunity for people who have killed Irish citizens. A fundamental democratic principle is equality under the law, and this proposal runs entirely contrary to that.

“The families of those murdered by British soldiers in Ballymurphy in 1971 are some of many victims of state violence who, decades on, continue to seek the dignity of truth and justice. This fundamental right will be torn from them by this proposal, backed by the DUP.

“It should be noted that the DUP were clear during negotiations that there should be no amnesties for anyone involved in the conflict.

“Perhaps it is proof of further discord, but this will be somewhat confusing to those who have noticed DUP MPs adamantly supporting the statute of limitations for British soldiers.

“The only credible way of dealing with the past is the implementation of the legacy mechanisms outlined in the Stormont House Agreement.

“In that agreement, all parties endorsed legacy mechanisms which should have been operational long before now.

“Yet, years on, the British government continues to refuse to honour their international obligations by blocking the implementation, and adequate resourcing, of the Stormont House Agreement legacy mechanisms needed to address the requirements of all victims and survivors."

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