Troubles victims deliver letter to Prime Minister Boris Johson in Downing Street amnesty protest

Troubles victims deliver letter to Prime Minister Boris Johson in Downing Street amnesty protest

SINN FÉIN MP John Finucane accompanied victims of the Troubles conflict and their families to Downing Street in protest against the British Government’s planned amnesty proposals. 

While there the families delivered a letter addressed to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, confirming their opposition to the plans, which were outlined over the summer.

In July Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, revealed that the British government would push to end any prosecutions for crimes in the North prior to the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.

The proposed legislation would apply to British soldiers who killed civilians, such as in the Bloody Sunday massacre, as well as to paramilitaries from all sides including the IRA, UVF and UDA.

The controversial move was roundly condemned by politicians across Ireland, with Taoiseach Micheál Martin telling the Dáil in the days that followed that the proposals amounted to "a general amnesty for all security personnel, and all paramilitaries, for murders and other crimes, up until the Good Friday Agreement".

This week Mr Finucane brought the families directly affected by the plans to the heart of Westminster to have their vocies heard.

“I joined with victims of the conflict and their families who have taken their campaign against amnesty proposals to the heart of the British establishment at Downing Street,” he said.

"They have handed in a letter addressed to British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, outlining their complete opposition to his government’s ludicrous proposals on legacy.”

He added: "Signatories of the letter opposing the amnesty represent a diverse range of victims, from right across the community.

"Their demands are very modest; they want access to truth and justice for their loved ones.”

Mr Finucane, the MP for North Belfast, claims the proposals are designed to block families from taking their cases to court.

"These British Government proposals are designed with one clear objective in mind, to put their state forces above the rule of law and to block families from taking legacy cases to the courts,” he said.

"This is in clear breach of the British Government’s international human rights obligations.”

He added: "Many families have suffered terrible losses at the hands of the British state, both directly through their state forces and surrogates in death squads.

"The very least that victims and their families deserve, many of whom have campaigned for more than 50 years, is access to truth and justice.”

"It is time for the British Government to stop insulting victims and their families and to fully implement the legacy mechanisms agreed at Stormont House in December 2014 in a human rights compliant manner.”