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Northern Ireland: amendments to Troubles bill show Government is treating victims 'with contempt'

Responding to the publication this evening of Government amendments to its Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill, Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International UK’s Northern Ireland Deputy Director, said: 

“The UK government is treating Troubles victims with contempt - these amendments do nothing to address the fundamental flaws with the bill. 

“No-one is fooled by these changes and the Government is still clearly intent on denying victims their basic rights and pressing ahead with a bill only it wants.

”The amendments follow the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers issuing a resolution expressing their serious concern about the bill’s compatibility with the Government’s human rights obligations. 

“It’s time the Government halted the passage of this profoundly unjust bill through Parliament and instead committed to an agreed way forward to deal with the legacy of the Troubles that protects and prioritises victims.”

Earlier this week, ahead of his meeting with Rishi Sunak in Washington, Amnesty called on US president Joe Biden to reiterate his administration’s strong support for the Good Friday Agreement and use the meeting to relay US concerns at how the Troubles bill represents a serious violation of the agreement and risks undermining the delicate peace settlement in Northern Ireland.

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