Belfast Telegraph

DUP urged to abandon Stormont House legacy plans

Ulster Human Rights Watch has claimed the proposals will have a ‘detrimental impact on the innocent victims of terrorism’.

DUP leader Arlene Foster has come under pressure to distance herself from legacy proposals contained in the Stormont House Agreement. (Brian Lawless/PA)
DUP leader Arlene Foster has come under pressure to distance herself from legacy proposals contained in the Stormont House Agreement. (Brian Lawless/PA)

By Rebecca Black, PA

Democratic Unionist leader Arlene Foster has come under pressure to distance her party from the Stormont House Agreement proposals on dealing with the past.

Ulster Human Rights Watch (UHRW), which represents the families of the 12 killed in the 1978 La Mon atrocity among others, has claimed the proposals are “disastrous”.

The proposals from the 2014 agreement include a new independent Historical Investigations Unit, an Independent Commission on Information Retrieval, an Implementation and Reconciliation Group and an Oral History Archive.

The UHRW has written to Mrs Foster asking her to “firmly state” that her party does not back the proposals, claiming they will have “a further detrimental impact on the innocent victims of terrorism”.

The letter said the proposals have “aroused grave concerns among victims of terrorism and members of the security forces, who protected society against the terrorist campaign in Northern Ireland”.

The letter states: “It is strongly believed among the victims of terrorism we represent that these proposals will undermine the due process of law and will provide the means by which those who engaged in terrorism and their sympathisers could justify terrorism and rewrite the history of the terrorist campaign in Northern Ireland and, in doing so, will further alienate the innocent victims who already have suffered so much over the intervening years.

“Since these proposals were made public in May 2018, we have repeatedly raised legitimate, grave and well-founded concerns about the four proposed bodies, requesting that the DUP unequivocally disengage from them all so they can be replaced with a proper alternative.

The letter concludes “On behalf of victims of terrorism, including members of the security forces and their families, we would kindly ask you to firmly state that the DUP will no longer support the proposed SHA legislation about the legacy of the past.”

PA

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