British government must fund investigations into the past – Anderson

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the British government should pay for investigations into legacy cases from the conflict.

Speaking after attending a conference in Belfast where the Council of Europe Human Right’s Commissioner, Nils Muiznieks, said Britain must deal with its responsibilities on the past, Ms Anderson said;

“The British government’s failure to comply with human rights regulations guaranteeing the right to life has been exposed to an international audience on numerous occasions.

“At yesterday’s conference in Belfast, Commissioner Muiznieks clearly said Britain is currently breaching the European Convention of Human Rights through its failures to carry out effective investigations into killings during the conflict, particularly in cases of collusion and its shoot-to-kill policy.

“His remarks, and the subsequent comments from the Assembly’s Justice Minister, David Ford, that Britain should foot the bill for investigations into state killings, is to be welcomed.

“Britain cannot escape its responsibilities on its Article 2 obligations and it should not be allowed to use financial pressures as an excuse to deny relatives access to truth and justice.

“I have been dealing with relatives who have lost loved ones as a result of state violence for many years and I have taken delegations to Europe to meet with senior MEPs to raise their cases with an international audience.

“As a result of that engagement I invited Commissioner Muiznieks to Belfast to address this conference and bring these important issues to a wider audience.

“I have also invited the Commissioner to return to the North and to compile an official report on these issues.

“We welcome Commissioner Muiznieks’ intervention in this important debate and I will continue to work with him and the relatives who are campaigning for truth and justice.”