Cautious welcome to plastic bullet story

United Campaign Against Plastic Bullets
235a Falls Road
BT12 4PE

3rd April 2003

Press statement. Cautious welcome to plastic bullet story

In response to a story, as yet unconfirmed, reported from BBC newsrooms
today, Relatives for Justice has been made aware that the British
Government are to phase out plastic bullets by the end of 2003.
Speaking on this, Relatives for Justice chairperson and long-time
campaigner against the use of plastic bullets Clara Reilly said:

“As yet we have had no word or indication from the British government
as to its intention about the continued use of plastic bullets.

“If today’s reports are true then
the indication to discontinue their use is to be welcomed and it is
vindication of the campaign to have them banned. However we believe
that if the intent is there to discontinue them then the timing should
be brought foreword without delay. The fact that bullets will be in use
for another eight months still creates a timeframe, particularly in
light of the approaching marching season, whereby other people may
possibly lose their lives as a result of the use of plastic bullets.
This must be avoided at all costs.

“We should not lose sight of the fact that seventeen people, eight of
them school children, lost their lives as a result of rubber and
plastic bullets. Countless others were maimed and disfigured.

“This legacy should be the lesson learned in terms of life taken and
human rights violated. In light of this we need to be extremely
vigilant as to what “alternatives” may be introduced in place of the
plastic bullet, being cautious not to act with haste in terms of fully
endorsing today’s news.”