Belfast Telegraph

DUP to challenge Nils Muiznieks on his call for the British government to pay for investigations into killings by soldiers and police during 'Troubles'

DUP MEP Diane Dodds will raise her concerns with the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks, in Strasbourg tomorrow after he called for the British government to pay for investigations of killings by soldiers and police.

By Amanda Ferguson

DUP MEP Diane Dodds is to challenge the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights, Nils Muiznieks, in Strasbourg tomorrow on what she described as his "one sided, partisan and extremely naive intervention on investigating our past".

Mrs Dodds is unhappy with comments Mr Muiznieks made during his visit to Belfast last month, for a human rights conference, when he said the government should pay for investigations of killings by soldiers and police during the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Mr Muiznieks said the British government is currently breaching the European Convention of Human Rights and could not use budget cuts as an excuse for not upholding the rule of law.

More than 300 people were killed by the security forces in Northern Ireland.

Diane Dodds said: “It was extremely disappointing that during his recent visit to Northern Ireland the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights saw fit to make this one sided, partisan and extremely naive intervention on investigating our past.

"Rather than solely focusing on the activities of the Army and Police, who saved so many lives in Northern Ireland in the face of terrorist onslaught, the Commissioner for Human Rights ought to be giving priority to the human rights of innocent victims.

"There can be no greater goal than unearthing the truth about the activities of terrorist organisations who were responsible for the vast majority of the 3,600 deaths suffered by our society during the so called ‘Troubles’.

"We need truth for the people of Enniskillen, we need truth for the families of the Kingsmills massacre and so many other atrocities witnessed in our land."

"Furthermore, rather than focusing on the duties of the UK Government, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner ought to be shining a light on the activities of the Irish Republic and their role in our troubled past," she added.

"It is clear that Garda collusion with Republican gunmen and bombers was rife, and we need the Irish Government to come clean on the extent of that scandal."

"These are points I will be making to the Commissioner tomorrow and I will be urging him to take remedial action following his ill thought out comments in Belfast, and to make clear that Europe is on the side of all innocent victims.”

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