Government should listen to victims and abandon amnesty plans

North Antrim MP Ian Paisley has said if the Government is serious about listening to the views of victims it must anbandon its proposals to offer an amnesty for all troubles related crimes.

By Ian Paisley MP

North Antrim

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He was speaking following correspondence between the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on the issue.

Mr Paisley is the UK Parliament delegate to the Council of Europe.

Commenting he said, "Concerns voiced by the Commissioner echo the views expressed by many victims and the wider public in Northern Ireland. Key to that is the lack of a victim-centred approach by the Government.

The Government's claim that it is listening to the views of victims is not borne out by its own consultation process. Over 17,000 responses made it clear that access to justice must remain open. Whilst those who suffered the most are acutely aware of the difficulties in securing justice particularly given the passage of time, but it is still hugely important that this avenue is never closed off.

With such overwhelming opposition to these proposals it is time that victims were given a demonstration of respect and confirmation given that this amnesty will not be pursued.

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