RFJ respond to British Secretary of State US visit

Mark Thompson

The following is a statement issued by RFJ CEO Mark Thompson on the announcement by British Secretary of State James Brokenshire that he is making a visit to the US.

“Relatives for Justice note the visit by the British Secretary of State to the United States.

“It has been deeply disappointing that the British Government has not met its moral and legal obligations to victims and survivors of the conflict.

“Rather than concentrating on the full implementation of the Stormont House Agreement the British Government has frustrated all processes to deal with the past. They have stood by while the inquest courts and Police Ombudsman’s Office have been deliberately starved of necessary resources despite full clear professional plans of remedy for families that have the full support of the most senior legal figure in the north, the Lord Chief Justice, the UN and EU Human Rights Commissioner. And in the most sinister of fashions the British Government has insisted on a ‘national security’ veto, which has torpedoed the political agreements reached in the form of the Stormont House Agreement legacy proposals.

“Recently the British Government has announced that they wish to unilaterally consult on legacy proposals, which do not have political agreement. Many have viewed this as a cynical exercise in delay, with consensus on these contentious matters being obviously impossible. Further it is believed by many that this cynicism is another exercise in continuing state impunity, with the British state not wishing to be investigated or held to account for its role in state killings or collusion.

“The British Government has clear legal obligations to victims and survivors of the conflict under the European Convention of Human Rights, it is long since past time they stood aside and allowed for independent and robust mechanisms that can deliver to all victims to be put in place. The UK is not impartial.

“We believe that James Brokenshire should be asked the following questions while he is on his visit:

  1. Why is it that the British Government have insisted on a ‘national security’ veto regarding illegal murders and killings by illegal groups in which its agents were both secreted and operated from within?
  2. Why did the British Government – “The Conservative Party” – mobilize and orchestrate a campaign of former British soldiers and its MP’s to prevent any investigations and or prosecutions of British soldiers involved in killings or collusion?
  3. What secret deals were done between the Conservative Party and the DUP on the legacy of the conflict? This is particularly pertinent as both of the Conservative Party and the DUP have “colluded” together to prevent independent examination of the past and the implementation of all agreements re investigations; a matter referred to by the late Martin McGuinness in media interviews following his resignation.” ENDS