I PARENTI DELLE VITTIME DEI TROUBLES MERITANO ‘RISPOSTE’

Dopo la rivelazione del Rapporto Saville sono sempre più numerose le richieste di giustizia dagli eredi delle vittime dei troubles, come sottolineato dalla Commission for Victims and Survivors

E’ stato reso noto oggi un nuovo rapporto della Commission for Victims and Survivors, in cui si richiedono colloqui tra le autorità transfrontaliere per discutere su come affrontare l’eredità dei Troubles.
“La Commissione crede fermamente che dobbiamo affrontare con urgenza l’eredità del conflitto”, ha detto.
“Molte vittime ei sopravvissuti hanno aspettato per molti anni per le risposte e l’assistenza, molti sono morti senza aver soddisfatto le loro esigenze e per molti altri, i loro bisogni sono stati aggravati man mano che invecchiano.
“Crediamo che il governo e la società abbiano il dovere di prendersi cura di questi individui, famiglie e comunità.
“La Commissione ritiene che i leaders politici e civili debbano impegnarsi a concordare una via da seguire.
“Le disposizioni attuali non soddisfano i bisogni delle vittime e dei sopravvissuti. C’è bisogno di meccanismi progettati da zero in Irlanda del Nord e che siano in grado di costruire la fiducia in tutta la comunità”.
La relazione raccomanda che ciò avvenga preferibilmente tra il novembre 2010 e l’aprile 2011 e mirano a raggiungere un accordo trasversale.
Il documento presentato una serie di raccomandazioni, tra cui:

  • La possibilità di formare una nuova agenzia che inglobi Historical Enquiries Team e parte Police Ombudsman Office. Il rapporto afferma: “Tale organismo dovrebbe riesaminato le indagini, cercare di recuperare le informazioni per le famiglie ed esaminare la verità dietro ad una serie di eventi e questioni di importanza cruciale per le tradizione unioniste e nazionaliste”.
  • Il governo dovrebbe lavorare seguendo il principio in base al quale tutti coloro che ne hanno necessità, derivanti dal conflitto, dovrebbero ricevere aiuto.
  • L’esame della verità dovrebbe essere al centro di nuove disposizioni, in cui eventi e questioni di particolare rilevanza critica del passato, possano essere attentamente esaminati.

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Troubles victims’ relatives ‘deserve answers’ (U TV)

The Government has been urged to hold cross-party talks within the next year in Northern Ireland on how to deal with the legacy of the Troubles.
A report by the government-appointed Commission for Victims and Survivors released in Belfast said there was an urgent need to deal with the fallout from the decades of conflict.
The three-member panel noted how the recently released Saville Inquiry report had helped heal the wounds of Bloody Sunday, but warned that thousands of other bereaved relatives deserved answers on the loss of their loved ones.
Commissioner Brendan McAllister said that government was duty-bound to help Northern Ireland move from its present phase of “conflict management”, to a position where true reconciliation was possible.
“The Commission firmly believes that we must deal urgently with the legacy of the conflict,” he said.
“Many victims and survivors have waited for many years for answers and assistance, many have died without having their needs met and for many more, their needs have been exacerbated as they age.
“We believe government and society has a duty of care to these individuals, families and communities.
“The Commission believes that political and civil leaders must be engaged to agree a way forward.
“Current arrangements do not meet the needs of victims and survivors. There is a need for mechanisms which are designed from the ground up in Northern Ireland and which are capable of building confidence across the community.”
The Troubles claimed more than 3,600 lives, with the violence hitting communities across Ireland, in Britain and, on occasions, overseas.
The report recommended a Design Process on ways to deal with the past which should run between November 2010 and April 2011 and aim to reach a cross-party agreement.
The new arrangements should be in place by the Autumn of 2011.
The Commission’s report added: “While the past is over and history cannot be unlived or undone, there is a difference between the past and the legacy of the past.
“It is as if the Troubles were a volcano which erupted for over 40 years and the after-effects are like trails of lava which still flow into the present and towards the future, affecting the whole of the social environment of a society which is otherwise focused on its own recovery and a widely held desire to ‘move on’.”
The document made a series of recommendations including:
* The possibility of forming a new agency to subsume the police Historical Enquiries Team and part of the Police Ombudsman’s Office. The report said: “Such an agency would review investigations, seek to recover information for families and examine the truth behind a number of events and issues of critical importance to the unionist and nationalist traditions.”
* Government should work to the principle that all who are in need, arising from the conflict, should receive help.
* Truth examination should be at the core of new arrangements, whereby events and issues of critical significance from the past, can be carefully examined.
The commission said calls for a new legal definition of a victim, which unionist politicians in particular want to see redrafted to exclude paramilitaries, would be difficult to secure agreement on at this time.
An earlier report compiled by a consultative group, led by former Church of Ireland Primate Robin Eames and former Northern Ireland Policing Board vice chair Denis Bradley, had made a series of recommendations.
Recognition payment
The Eames/Bradley report proposed a “legacy commission” to offer either prosecutions into killings or a system of information recovery, so families could help deal with their loss.
The wide ranging proposals included a controversial suggestion that the next of kin of all those who died, including dead paramilitaries, receive a £12,000 recognition payment.
But while that, and other proposals, failed to secure cross-party support, the Commission for Victims and Survivors today largely backed the thrust of the Eames/Bradley blueprint.
The Commission suggested, however, that Northern Ireland parties be encouraged to come-up with their own choice of structures for dealing with legacy issues.
It said public discussion on the Eames/Bradley plans had been dominated by a row over the recognition payments, overshadowing other proposals.
The Commission report said: “The Commission believes that the Consultative Group identified the key ingredients for a comprehensive treatment of the past: (a) Help society towards a shared and reconciled future through a process of engagement with community issues arising from the conflict; (b) Review and investigate historical cases with a view to holding people to account before the courts; (c) In situations where further criminal investigation or prosecution is not feasible, seek to recover information which may be of assistance to families of victims; (d) Examine themes arising from the conflict which remain of public concern.”
‘Tensions’
But the report also addressed the tensions unionists and nationalists had on the conflict.
It said: “The Bloody Sunday Inquiry and the Prime Minister’s apology have been very significant developments, the full impact of which will take some time to become apparent.
“However, it is already clear that they have served truth, assisted healing and promoted reconciliation, especially with regard to the nationalist community.”
The report found that wider allegations of security force wrongdoing remained “open sores on the body of our society”, though many nationalists believe unionists “are in denial about state violence”.
The Commission said unionists are sceptical of a “truth recovery process” and pointed to a “deep suspicion that truth recovery is a flag of convenience for those whose real agenda is to deconstruct the integrity of the state and of the unionist/Protestant tradition; to re-package terror and violence as a noble conflict and to re-write the history of the Troubles”.
Nevertheless, the Commission stressed its belief in the need for political action to help bridge divisions for the sake of future generations.
UTV’s Political Editor Ken Reid said: “Basically the commission is asking the two governments to take the lead – perhaps more importantly the British Government.
“We’ve had a change of regime at Westminster. The last Labour Government particularly Shaun Woodward the former Secretary of State felt there was some merit in the idea of a legacy commission.
“During PM’s questions I think Shaun Woodward would be pursuing that, but I think that will be batted away by Owen Patterson.”

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