Undercover policing inquiry must be extended to Northern Ireland, say Amnesty
Amnesty International has called on the UK Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to agree to extend the Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI) to Northern Ireland.
The call follow news that the Scottish Justice Secretary has called on the Home Secretary to reconsider extending the terms of reference of the undercover policing inquiry to allow it to look at the activity of English and Welsh police units in Scotland.
The call also comes as news of legal proceedings in Scotland are about to be launched.
Grainne Teggart, Amnesty’s Northern Ireland Campaigns Manager, said:
“Northern Ireland must not be left behind due to the ongoing absence of government ministers advocating in our interests.
“Activities of undercover police were not limited to England and Wales, so nor should the inquiry. Two previous Justice Ministers have called for the extension of the Inquiry which we believe must now happen urgently.
“Given the potential significant implications for legacy investigations, this is all the more important. The need for full transparency and accountability of policing in Northern Ireland must not be compromised.”
Jason Kirkpatrick is an environmental activist who was targeted by Mark Kennedy from the London Metropolitan Police and the National Public Order Intelligence Unit.
Kennedy operated in Northern Ireland when he and Kirkpatrick worked together at public events.
Mr Kirkpatrick is engaged in a legal challenge to force the Undercover Policing Inquiry to be extended to Northern Ireland, and is about to support launching of similar proceedings in Scotland
Mr Kirkpatrick said:
“An inquiry that fails to take account of the full nature and extent of undercover policing is nothing short of a whitewash.
“The operations and depth of the deception by the police who spied on me was not limited to England and Wales, and so neither should the investigation.
“Our rights must be upheld. I've been fighting for what's right on this case since 2010, and it's time the Government stop doing everything in its power to prevent justice.”
Ms Teggart added:
“Victims, such as Jason, should not have to take to the courts to have their rights realised.
“Those affected deserve nothing less than the truth around covert operations that violated trust, privacy and intimacy.”