Boris Johnson and the Tory government have announced their intention of granting an amnesty for all troubles related prosecutions.
If implemented the policy would end prosecutions for crimes committed before the 1998 Good Friday Agreement by state forces and paramilitaries. This is nothing new, British governments throughout the years have always stood by those who killed in their service. Victims are well used to state lies and whitewash inquires.
The Tories priority here is to let British soldiers, military top brass and the British political establishment off the hook. Paramilitaries are only included in this proposal to give the appearance of ‘balance’. Paramilitary organisations have a lot to answer for, they all killed innocent people and then lied about it – and they are still lying. But they didn’t go out to murder on behalf of the State. Many of them may have been manipulated by the State – but they didn’t represent the State. In contrast, the soldiers, generals and politcal establishment responsible for killing innocent people in the North were agents of the British government. The Government of which Brandon Lewis is now the chief representative in the North which gave the go-ahead for killing and then covered up afterwards. All parties in the North and the coalition government in the South say they’re against these plans, yet all the parties of the Stormont Executive were made aware of the Tories intentions months ago and didnt raise a single voice against it.
Stormont has been re-called from summer recess to debate a motion calling for victims and survivors to have a “full, material and central role and input into the content and design of structures to address the legacy of the past”.
The current justice minister has said she may consider her position and her party’s position of filling the ministry in future if this legislation is to be implemented. Action not words is what’s needed at this time.
While Boris Johnson is claiming this is an opportunity to draw a line under the conflict. In a statement the Bloody Sunday March Committee said ‘the families of innocent victims can’t call it quits on the basis of a scheme drawn up by the British Government with the primary purpose of getting their soldiers off the hook.’
‘By continuing to march, we have shown that they won’t be allowed to shoot us off the streets. We won’t allow them now to con us or sweet-talk us from continuing to demand truth and justice.’
‘We will keep right on to the end of the road.’
People Before Profit stands fully with all innocent victims and victims families demanding truth and justice. The same regiments that murdered on behalf of the British state in Ireland continue to kill innocent people around the world today. Be it Derry, Shankill, Ballymurphy, Iraq or Afghanistan, state killers must be brought to book and justice for victims delivered.