Families of Victims Protest Amnesty Move

The Ballymurphy Families group is one of a number of victims' and rights organizations protesting the British government amnesty move.

By Irish Echo Staff

As the British government moves to publish proposals that would reportedly include a statue of limitations ending all prosecutions related to the Troubles prior to 1998, relatives and advocates for victims are protesting against the move.

The statute would apply to former members of the security forces as well as ex-paramilitaries.

The Irish government, the five main political parties and victims' groups all oppose the idea, which some have described as a de-facto amnesty, the BBC was reporting.

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The British government wants to pass the required legislation in the autumn.

One of the advocacy groups, the Ballymurphy Massacre families, along with other campaigning groups and individuals, have stages a series of "white-line" protests against the statue of limitation proposal across Belfast and other parts of the North.

The protests were attended by hundreds of family members still waiting for accountability and truth of how their loved ones had been murdered and maimed, said a statement from the Ballymurphy Families.

Said the statement: "We see this as the British Government’s cynical attempt to bring in an amnesty and a plan to bury its war crimes.

"These latest proposals to deny families Article-2 compliant investigations or access to due process of the law will not be tolerated. The Ballymurphy Massacre inquest findings in May this year is the perfect example of why there should not be a statue of limitations.

"Justice Keegan confirmed what the Ballymurphy Massacre family's always stated that all those who lost their lives in the Ballymurphy Massacre were "entirely innocent of any wrongdoing " and "posed no threat." This is a war crime and those responsible must be held to account.

"We demand to be listened to, we are against this proposal for an amnesty and we are supported in this by victims groups, the Irish Government and all political parties in the whole of Ireland."

The statment concluded: "We want the British Government to stand by it's own word and honour the internationally recognised agreements they have already signed up to. We urge the Irish government to call out this outrageous proposal as a non starter and an assault on our human rights."