Speaking in response to the Committee of Ministers (CoM) findings in Strasbourg RFJ’s Director, Mark Thompson, said:
“Relatives for Justice and the hundreds of families we support welcome the findings made by Europe that the UK implement legacy investigations as promised in the December 2014 Stormont House Agreement (SHA).
“This demand too is for resources for legacy inquests.
“The very clear frustrations expressed by Europe reflect the deep sense of disappointment felt by thousands of relatives seeking truth and accountability from across the community.
“In the face of constant delay Europe, the CoM, is one of the few international mechanisms in which families can independently hold to account the UK government.
“The CoM also demonstrates the fundamental importance of independence when concerning legacy institutions such as the Historical Investigations Unit (HIU) which the UK has reacted most to by seeking to block families’ right to know about the killings of their loved ones by trying to establish a ‘national security’ veto.
“The demands by CoM, the body directed by the European Court, fly in the face of the North’s SoS, James Brokenshire MP, in which he stated publicly to the BBC today that he is not for doing anything on legacy citing more unacceptable excuses as to why he won’t proceed. But the real reason is that his government seeks to hide the truth.
“It is abundantly clear that in recent weeks and months the UK has deliberately ignored the report by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Truth, Justice, Reparation & Non-Recurrence, Mr. Pablo De Greiff, calling for the implementation of agreed legacy institutions in the SHA, the position of the Irish government concerning its public position of the UK now ‘failing victims’, and the proposals by the Lord Chief Justice (LCJ) Morgan on legacy inquests.
“The UK has defiantly pulled down the shutters ignoring victims and survivors and erected the banner of ‘national security’ refusing to discuss substantive issues, consistently prevaricating, and hiding behind elements that seek to bury the truth about the past.
“Families will continue to use whatever legal redress, including international mechanisms such as CoM and the UN, in holding to account the UK concerning violations and the concealment of the facts when involving the state and its agents. ENDS
Editors Notes: The key decisions and comments issued by the deputies of CoM in respect to the UK can be located on the RFJ website (link below) with a direct link also to the official address.