Kelly: British Defence Secretary’s remarks a disgrace
The Upper Bann MLA said that all parties must resist the rush to grant immunity to those who have committed heinous crimes against people and communities in Northern Ireland.
“This is a day for sensitivity and solidarity with the families of the victims of Bloody Sunday. They have endured 47 years of heartbreak, evasion and obstruction from successive British Governments.
“The British Defence Secretary’s comments that ‘former personnel cannot live in constant fear of prosecution’ are an absolute disgrace. Those who have committed heinous crimes against people and communities in Northern Ireland should not be offered a shield of respectability or shield from responsibility by any government. All parties must resist the rush to award immunity to those who have inflicted pain on people here.
“Former Prime Minister David Cameron apologised for the ‘unjustified and unjustifiable’ actions on Bloody Sunday. Gavin Williamson now proposes to pay for legal teams to attempt to justify those actions on behalf of the perpetrators. The British Government should urgently clarify this position which will appear to all reasonable people to be a full reversal of David Cameron’s apology.
“This has been a shameful theme of the current UK government over the last number of weeks. Karen Bradley’s previous assertions that soldiers acted ‘in a dignified and appropriate way’ paint a picture of a government that has turned its face against an objective consideration of legacy. That position must change.”