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Ó Snodaigh calls for repeal of Offences Against the State Acts

2 July, 2003


Sinn Féin today tabled a motion in the Dáil seeking to strengthen the protection of human rights in the State in line with commitments made by the Irish government in signing the Good Friday Agreement. The Party's five TDs have called for the repeal of the Offences Against the State Acts 1939-1985 and accused the Government of refusing to live up to it's commitments to reform by dispensing with these draconian laws.

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice and Human Rights Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said:

"In signing the Good Friday Agreement this state committed itself to 'further strengthen the protection of human rights in this jurisdiction' and to 'initiate a widespread review of the Offences Against the State Act with a view to both reform and dispensing with those elements no longer required as circumstances permit'.

"It is now five years since the signing of that Agreement and instead of reforming the emergency legislation as required the Government has done the exact opposite and expanded the draconian measures in 1998.

"These laws have had a corrosive effect on human rights, civil liberties and democratic life in this state. They are not warranted and the Minister for Justice has utterly failed to demonstrate that the operation of this legislation is necessary for the security of the people.

"In the interests of justice and to honour the Governments own commitments under the Good Friday Agreement these laws must be repealed. Sinn Féin is seeking through this motion to have this done at the earliest opportunity." ENDS

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