Today the following statement was jointly released by RFJ, the Pat Finucane Centre, Justice for the Forgotten, Ardoyne Commemoration Project, An Fhírinne,and Firinne at a press conference in Parliament Buildings Stormont.
PRESS STATEMENT ON TRUTH COMMISSION
We the undersigned organisations representing victims of the conflict believe that current investigatory, prosecutorial and judicial arrangements offer no realistic prospect of truth recovery for bereaved families. We believe that the only way to bring truth to the greatest number of families is through an international independent truth commission. This should be available as a mechanism for all victims who wish to have their cases investigated thoroughly. The focus of such a commission should be on truth and acknowledgement rather than prosecutions. The criminal justice system has frustrated rather than facilitated access to the truth. All combatant groups, British, republican and loyalist should co-operate in good faith and have a moral duty to do so. British and Irish State policies and actions and those of non state actors and the role of civil society in both jurisdictions should be examined. The commission should be mandated to establish the causes, context and consequences of the conflict.
International law makes the case that states undergoing transition are faced with certain legal obligations, including: the provision of independent investigation of past violations, upholding victims’ rights, providing adequate reparations to victims, preventing future abuses, and preserving and enhancing peace.
We believe that an independent international truth commission provides the best opportunity for truth recovery for the greatest number of those affected by the conflict. We believe this will contribute to individual and societal healing and recovery, dealing with the legacy of the past in a positive way and building a better future for everyone.
Justice For the Forgotten, Relatives For Justice, Pat Finucane Centre, An Fhirinne, Fírinne, Ardoyne Commemoration Project