RFJ to meet British Secretary of State

Relatives of victims of state violence to meet British Secretary of State

A delegation from Relatives for Justice will today, Monday 23rd July
2001, hold its first ever meeting with a British Secretary of State.
The RFJ delegation will meet John Reid at Castle Buildings today at
11am and will be available for comment prior to the meeting at 10.45am
at Castle Buildings and afterwards at 12.45pm.

The delegation plan to discuss a number of issues including human
rights, truth, policing and plastic bullets and the hierarchy of those
affected by the conflict. Speaking before today's meeting RFJ
spokesperson, Mark Thompson said:

"As an organisation representing hundreds of families affected by RUC,
British army and loyalist violence we will be raising many of the
concerns that they have outlined to us. These include the
non-negotiable nature of human rights, impunity for members of the RUC
and British army relating to 358 killings, the failure of the state to
acknowledge their role in the conflict, collusion including arming the
loyalists, and mechanisms to retrospectively address directly these
matters as part of conflict resolution.

The delegation will also include members of the United Campaign Against
Plastic Bullets, Emma Groves, Kathleen Duffy and Clara Reilly who will
present a petition signed by almost 20,000 people during a 10 day
period last month.

The petition that gained widespread support within the community,
including political support, was initiated by UCAPB, Derry-based Pat
Finucane Centre, and Relatives for Justice and coincided with the
introduction of new more lethal plastic bullets. It sought a complete
banning of plastic bullets by urging those considering supporting both
new policing arrangements and membership of the policing boards to
withhold support until plastic bullets are banned.

Speaking about the petition Paul O'Connor of the PFC said:
"We were very encouraged by the support for the petition in such a
short space of time, although not at all surprised given the growing
levels of concern about the new plastic bullet. The petition was signed
by more people than have applied to join the new police service." ENDS

Those attending from RFJ – Monsignor Raymond Murray, Martin Finucane,
Eilish McCabe and Mark Thompson. For further details contact Mark
Thompson 07929934876.