Dealing with the past

Northen Ireland © Hulton Archive/Getty Images
© Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Northern Ireland conflict claimed the lives of more than 3,600 people and injured a further 40,000. In most cases no one has ever been held responsible.
Over the last decade a patchwork of measures, including isolated investigations, have failed to establish the full truth about the violations and abuses of the past and left many victims waiting for justice.

We are campaigning for human rights compliant mechanisms capable of delivering the truth, justice and accountability victims’ have rights to. 
We believe that such mechanisms would be an important step towards ending impunity for human rights violations and abuses in Northern Ireland and will contribute towards building a lasting peace.

The Hooded Men

As part of this work, Amnesty International continues to support the 14 men chosen for 'special treatment' by the UK Government in 1971. The men were forced to wear hoods and thrown to the ground from low-flying helicopters while hooded. These 14 men became commonly known as the 'Hooded Men'. None of the 14 men were ever convicted of any criminal offence.

In late 2017, the High Court ruled that the failure by the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) to investigate the allegations of torture was unlawful and should be quashed. The PSNI sought to appeal this decision to the Court of Appeal.

The Belfast Court of Appeal will consider whether to progress an investigation - we will be supporting the men’s case and give evidence in court. We’ve backed the men’s campaign for decades and we won’t stop until we see justice.

Find out more about this campaign here

Read the reports

Response to NIO Consultation ‘Addressing the Legacy of Northern Ireland’s Past 2018

Submission to the UN Human Rights Committee 2015

Northern Ireland: Time to Deal with the Past 2013

Campaign news

Time to deal with the past report
Amnesty International UK response to NIO consultation Addressing the legacy of Northern Ireland's past Oct 2018.pdf