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TRUTH ABOUT COLLUSION - MAJOR RALLY ON SUNDAY

5 August, 2003


West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty is calling for people to attend a major 'Truth about Collusion' rally to take place at Belfast's City Hall this Sunday at 3pm.

Sinn Féin, in conjunction with families of the victims of the British governments collusion policy, is organising the march and rally and will signal a stepping up of the campaign demanding the truth about collusion and to demanding that it ceases.

Mr Doherty said,

As in most other parts of the 6 counties, and indeed in many parts of the 26 counties, families and communities in West Tyrone are no strangers to the policy of collusion.

Hundreds of people were killed, and many more injured and maimed, in a vicious campaign of state-sponsored murder; the unionist death squads killed elected representatives, human rights lawyers, Sinn Féin members and their families, journalists, IRA volunteers and ordinary citizens.

On April 17th 2003, Sir John Stevens concluded his third investigation into collusion, acknowledging: 'My enquiries have highlighted collusion, the wilful failure to keep records, the absence of accountability, the withholding of intelligence and evidence, and the extreme of agents being involved in murder'.

To date no member of the Special Branch or British military intelligence has been indicted for these crimes. However, even more serious and worrying, this policy of collusion has never been reversed. It remains, perhaps less active, but nevertheless, intact and as potentially deadly today.

Those British agencies that executed this policy remain in place today. The Special Branch of the RUC has become the Special Branch of the PSNI while the Force Research Unit of the British Army that ran many of the British agents has been renamed the Joint Services Group. MI5 continues to operate as before.

The policy of employing the unionist death squads was not the actions of rogue agents or individual 'bad apples‚ who overstepped their responsibilities. It was a policy which was endorsed at the highest political level. It was British State murder. The British government has never accepted its responsibility for the deaths which resulted from this policy.

Sinn Féin, along with the families of the victims of this policy of collusion, is organising a march and rally to Belfast City Hall to take place on August 10th. We are calling for a large attendance in support of the families of those who were killed through the policy of state-sponsored murder and to demand from the British the truth about its role, and that of its various armed and intelligence agencies, in the killing of citizens.

It's time for the truth about collusion. END

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