15/03/2019

Amnesty International: 'Justice Denied' To Bloody Sunday Families

Following the Public Prosecution Service announcement that many families who lost loved ones on Bloody Sunday will not see a prosecution, a spokesperson for Amnesty International has said the victims' families are paying the price for the Government's failure to effectively deal with legacy issues.

One former paratrooper, 'Soldier F' will be charged with two murders, of James Wray and William McKinney, as well as the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O'Donnell.

13 people were shot dead at a civil rights march in L'Derry on 30 January 1972. The PPS said, however, that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute 16 other soldiers and two Official IRA men.

Responding to the news, Amnesty International's Northern Ireland Campaigns Manager Grainne Teggart said: "It is right that Soldier F must now face justice for the shootings. However, with fourteen civilians dead and only one prosecution, today's announcement means that many of those responsible for the shootings will likely never be held accountable.

"With justice obstructed and delayed for so long, justice has now been denied to many of the families. No-one should be able to get away with murder.
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"What has been achieved today is a vindication of almost 50 years of campaigning by the families devastated by Bloody Sunday. They should be proud of their mutual support and solidarity over five difficult decades.

"Today is a stark reminder that victims have long been paying the price for the failure of government to effectively deal with the past. We call on the UK Government to ensure there are no barriers to justice and make clear there will be no amnesty for human rights abuses, including those committed by security forces.

"All victims of human rights violations and abuses from Northern Ireland's conflict have a right to an independent investigation, with the possibility of prosecutions to follow where the evidence leads. To remove this recourse would be a betrayal of victims' fundamental right to justice."

Meanwhile, Alliance leader Naomi Long has paid tribute to the families of Bloody Sunday after yesterday's announcement.

The east Belfast MLA said: "Today will be a day of very mixed emotions for the families who lost loved ones on Bloody Sunday, and for all of those injured or bereaved in the Troubles. 
"My thoughts are with the families, who have faced a long journey over decades in the pursuit of truth and justice, but the journey is not yet over.

"It is now important people respect due process and allow the courts to do their job."



(JG/CM)


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