Kincora: Home Secretary must answer victims’ calls for truth

Amnesty International has criticised the Home Secretary Theresa May for her continued lack of a decision on the inclusion of Kincora Boys' Home in the UK-wide inquiry into child sexual abuse.

In response to a question from Ian Paisley MP in the House of Commons yesterday, the Home Secretary said she had still not taken a decision on the inclusion and suggested that it might be dealt with by the ongoing Northern Ireland inquiry into historical institutional abuse.

Amnesty wrote to the Home Secretary in early July calling for Kincora's inclusion in the UK inquiry as the Northern Ireland inquiry has insufficient powers to probe allegations of cover-up of the abuse by the UK security services. Amnesty has further called on the government to suspend the Official Secrets Act to enable witnesses such as former Army intelligence officers to give evidence to the inquiry, being chaired by Fiona Woolf QC.

Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International, said:

“Shockingly, over three months after she announced the inquiry, the Home Secretary still has no answers for Kincora's victims.

“We are talking about the most disturbing of allegations - that MI5 turned a blind eye to child abuse and actively blocked a police investigation, instead using the paedophile ring for intelligence-gathering purposes.

“With Kincora, the power to secure the release of key documents from Whitehall or MI5 filing cabinets is absolutely vital.

“The Home Secretary's suggestion that perhaps the darkest secrets of the British security services could be adequately probed by a Northern Ireland Assembly-established inquiry is both ludicrous and deeply worrying.

“There has been unanimity among victims and political parties in Northern Ireland that nothing less than the inclusion of the Kincora home in the new inquiry is likely to see the truth about this murky episode emerge.

“The exclusion of Kincora from this inquiry will utterly undermine public confidence in the government's stated commitment to uncover the full truth about child abuse."

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See previous public statements by Amnesty International on this issue.

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