Northern Ireland: Amnesty welcomes UN expert report on dealing with the past

Amnesty International has welcomed the publication of the UN Special Rapporteur on Truth, Justice and Reparation, Pablo de Greiff’s report following his visit to Northern Ireland last year.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty’s Northern Ireland Programme Director, welcomed the UN expert’s call for delivery of new truth and justice mechanisms to deal with the legacy of thirty years of violent conflict in the region:

“The UN Special Rapporteur’s criticisms of the piecemeal nature of existing truth and justice mechanisms in Northern Ireland echo Amnesty International’s own research.

“Independence, access to information and adequate funding are very clearly the three necessary ingredients for any mechanism which has a hope of providing truth and justice.

“Without those three, the proposed Historical Investigations Unit will be destined to repeat the mistakes of other truth and justice bodies such as the now-disbanded PSNI Historic Enquiries Team.

“The Rapporteur’s warning against the overuse of “national security” as a blanket term to avoid scrutiny of state practices, and his exhortation to all parties to make headway on the Stormont House Agreement are both welcome and timely.

“We call on both UK and Irish governments and all parties in Northern Ireland to take seriously the recommendations of a recognised international expert. Progress on dealing with the past is long overdue. This report provides an opportunity for all parties to commit themselves anew to reaching an agreement which will benefit all the people of Northern Ireland.”

The full report can be found at: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Truth/A_HRC_34_62_Add_1_en.docx

State comments by the UK can be found at: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Truth/A_HRC_34_62_Add_2_en.docx

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