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FAMILIES of those killed during the Troubles will hold protests across Ireland next week in opposition to the British government’s proposed amnesty for soldiers.
Supporters of the Time for Truth Campaign have been angered by plans that would prevent prosecutions for “conflict-related offences,” thereby denying justice for the loved ones of those killed by Britain’s armed forces.
The British government paper contains a statute of limitations that would end all prosecutions for incidents up to April 1998 and would apply to military veterans as well as ex-paramilitaries.
The proposals, which Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed would allow Northern Ireland to “draw a line under the Troubles,” would also end all associated legacy inquests and civil actions.
A number of cases against British squaddies have already been dropped, including the charges against Soldier F, the only soldier to have been charged with murder relating to the Bloody Sunday killings of January 1972, during which 13 unarmed civilians were shot dead during a march for civil rights in Derry.
Campaign organiser Ciaran MacAirt described the amnesty law as “insidious and perfidious proposals, which would have embarrassed Chile’s Pinochet dictatorship.
“Britain is only interested in burying its war crimes in Ireland and protecting its war criminals,” he said.
Mr MacAirt said the protesters will be marching “to tell Boris Johnson and [Northern Ireland Secretary] Brandon Lewis that all families have a right to truth and justice.
“We are mobilising to protect our basic human rights and will demand no less than equal access to due legal process and investigations which are compliant with article two of the European Convention on Human Rights,” he said.
Marches, vigils and rallies will take place across Ireland on Saturday September 25.
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