Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland's human rights watchdog to quit post

By Michael McHugh

Head of Northern Ireland's Human Rights Commission is resigning for personal reasons, it has emerged.

Professor Michael O'Flaherty was chief commissioner for less than two years, but will step down in October.

He is a former member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee and an expert on freedom of expression and the prevention of torture. The academic has spearheaded human rights missions in Bosnia and Sierra Leone.

Since September 2011 he has been an outspoken advocate of a Bill of Rights. Under his leadership the Commission said lack of progress on a proposed Bill of Rights was a matter of regret and called on the Government to act.

Mr O'Flaherty said yesterday: "Today, with great regret, I informed my colleagues of my resignation, for personal reasons. Northern Ireland has a splendid Human Rights Commission that I have been honoured to serve. I have every confidence that it will continue to take forward its excellent work for the people of Northern Ireland."

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