Statement by RFJ Director Mark Thompson in response to the statement by the NIO this morning regarding the funding of legacy inquests and a consultation on dealing with the past.
“The human rights of victims of the conflict are non-negotiable.
“The bereaved and injured of the conflict are rights holders under the law.
“The UK government hold the domestic and international legal responsibility to ensure the rights of victims are provided for and upheld under the law; that is ensuring effective investigations into killings and attacks by all parties to the conflict are held in compliance with the law including outstanding legacy inquests.
“To state, as the NIO statement released to the BBC today does, that these rights are dependent on a political deal once again demonstrates that the UK is deliberately ignoring its legal obligations.
“The UK is flouting the law in this regard.
“Apart from being illegal it is morally reprehensible that a British secretary of state for the north would use victims, and withhold their rights, as some sort of bargaining chip in political negotiations.
“The denial of fundamental rights concerning some of the most egregious human rights violations during the conflict only serves to undermine due process and the rule of law.
“Relatives for Justice calls for the immediate release of adequate funds to enable all previous agreements to address the legacy of the past to be implemented, not least the proposed Historic Investigations Unit (HIU).”