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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Sinn Féin USA

British Government Proposals: Betrayal, Abandonment, & Breach of the Good Friday Agreement

Legal and Human Rights experts have rejected the British Government's proposals on dealing with the legacy of conflict. A report was recently compiled and published by legal experts from the Queens University Belfast and the renowned Committee for the Administration of Justice.

Regarding the British government’s proposed amnesty, Professor Louise Mallinder, from the School of Law at Queen’s University Belfast, said:

“The effect of the proposed UK government amnesty would be to prevent not only criminal prosecutions but also to close down current or future investigations in the civil courts, in coronial inquests or Police Ombudsman investigations.

“I have been working on amnesties around the world for almost twenty years and I have analyzed almost 300 amnesties related to conflict and peace from 1990 until 2016. The proposed UK amnesty would offer the broadest form of impunity to all the amnesties surveyed.

“The amnesty introduced by the former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet is usually held up as one of the worst……the proposed UK amnesty is Pinochet plus.”

Kieran McEvoy, Professor of Law and Transitional Justice at the School of Law and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice, Queen’s University Belfast, concluded: “These proposals represent a unilateral abandonment of the Stormont House Agreement, a breach of the Good Friday Agreement, and a betrayal of repeated promises made to victims. This government’s policy on legacy in Northern Ireland is seemingly driven primarily by concerns in Westminster for the fate of a small number of British army veterans being prosecuted for conflict-related offences.”

The British Government proposals have been rejected by all political parties in Ireland, the Irish Government, victims groups, and the churches. Both the House and the Senate have been unanimous in their support for the full implementation of the Stormont House Agreement. The only groups to come out in support of the British Government proposals are their military veterans!

Read the full report here.

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