Joint statement from Relatives for Justice and Rights Watch UK re HET

Noting media reports concerning the future of HET Director, Mr. Dave Cox, it is the view of human rights NGOs that removing the current HET leadership will not address the fundamental problems within and associated with the HET. The HET does not enjoy the confidence of the vast majority of families impacted upon by the conflict, is beyond reform and should be wound up immediately.

The HET is of its very nature not independent from the PSNI and therefore cannot under any leadership develop and operate a process which requires independence to comply with the states Article 2 ECHR duty. In particular operational control of the HET by senior PSNI officers is core to the failures identified by HMIC. Removing the HET senior staff fails to address this fundamental flaw.

For families truth and accountability for the killings of their loves ones can only be achieved through a totally independent credible process. This demands the immediate winding up the HET and the creation of a proper Art 2 compliant mechanism free form political and other vested interference. Anything less is not only in breach of Art2 but is unacceptable to the vast majority of families.