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Northern Ireland: Secretary of State must urgently release funding for legacy inquests

Amnesty International has called on the Northern Ireland Secretary of State Karen Bradley to urgently release funding for legacy inquests following a ruling by Justice Sir Paul Girvan that Arlene Foster's decision to block funding for the Lord Chief Justice's plan for legacy inquests was unlawful and flawed.

Amnesty said that any further delays to the release of funding would show contempt to victims who have long been denied human rights compliant investigations that offer truth and accountability on the loss of their loved ones.

Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Campaigns Manager, said:

“Victims are not political fodder - their right to justice must not be held to ransom until an agreement is reached at Stormont.

“The Secretary of State must act without delay following today’s ruling and immediately release funding for legacy inquests.

“A failure to do so would show utter contempt for victims who have long been paying the price for the failure of government to effectively deal with the past.

“It is time the UK Government treated this issue with the urgency it demands.”

Amnesty’s 2013 report, ‘Northern Ireland: Time to deal with the past’, found that the patchwork system of investigation that has been established in Northern Ireland has proven inadequate for the task of establishing the full truth about human rights violations and abuses committed by all sides during the three decades of violence.

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