Its image of keeping the peace between warlike factions is felt to be propaganda.
It is beside the point when it comes to the forces of the state doing its share of unjust killing and murder. If the main motive and objective is to save human life it seems fruitless to inform the RUC who themselves pursue a 'Shoot-to-Kill' policy and allow the British army to take human life with impunity. The anger aroused in people when the security forces of the state engage in ill-treatment or killing outside the law, and then protect themselves by lies, can lead people into using violence with disastrous for themselves and the whole community.
The government of the United Kingdom is deaf to pleas for justice and fair play In its report of June Amnesty International called for an independent inquiry which should look into the legislation and regulations governing the use of lethal force, as well as into the procedures used to investigate disputed incidents. The government of the United Kingdom has constantly refused to do this. The purpose of the murders of the s was to break the nerve and sap the morale of the Catholic population, weaken its powers of resistance and draw off support for the IRA.
This included British intelligence support for the Ulster Workers' Strike in May which brought down the power-sharing executive government in Northern Irelandthe two Dublin bombings, 1 December and 17 Mayand other bombings in the Irish Republic, and cross-border assassinations and kidnappings. So close has been the collusion between the state and one loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Defence Association, that it took twenty years to proscribe them, even though this group has murdered more than innocent Catholics, men, women and children.
The Stevens inquiry was set up in to investigate the collusion of police and army with the loyalist murder gangs. Collusion, however, has gone on for twenty years. The UDA has been switched on and off as a 'third force'. The Nelson Affair gave the public a glimpse of this underground murder campaign on the part of the British secret service. The manipulation was noticeable after the murder of Airey Neave and the Brighton bombing atrocity. It continues in east Tyrone and south Derry where in the past two years 19 Catholics have been murdered and no one made amenable.
At political high-points, too, when indications are that Catholics might have a share in power the loyalist gangs are switched on. The campaign was believed to be aimed at forcing Britain to adopt a more conciliatory attitude towards unionism in the pre-election period. Murders of Catholics in these three areas have taken place in the past few years. Since January 21 Catholics have been murdered there by loyalist paramilitaries and security forces.
He was hit seven times in the day time. At his funeral Mass Bishop Edward Daly said that a factor in his killing was the 'undue attention paid to him by some units of police'. The bishop told the congregation that Mr Cassidy had suffered constant cruel and public harassment from some members of the RUC. This activity is wrong and unjust and it must stop. Prosecutions for these crimes are nil. There have been few arrests. Only one person has been prosecuted for indirect involvement This must be the worst record for any police force in the world.
They come from the same background and are politically hostile to nationalists. The feeling of the people of south Derry is stronger than the words of Bishop Daly. The same pattern occurs in many of these killings. There is a presence of security forces before the shooting, then they disappear, the loyalist gunmen carry out the shooting, the UDR appear on the ro laughing and mock and harass Catholics. The RUC in most cases do not inform the relatives of the shooting or they do so in a cruel callous manner like a phone call to Mrs McGovern in the early hours of the morning - 'Your son is in the morgue'.
They rarely take statements from the relatives as to recent events in the life of the deceased and his movements on the day of the shooting.
It is almost impossible for relatives to have an interview with the investigating detectives. Unless otherwise stated these killings were carried out by the UVF: 14 February Car ambushed near home. Liam Ryan and Michael Devlin. Shot dead in public house, Ardboe. Shot dead at house, Cookstown. Shot outside pub in Cappagh.
Van ambushed. Thomas Donaghy Kilrea. Shot outside work. Bernard O'Hagan. Shot outside work at Magherafelt. An eighth man - Oswald Gilchrist died on 21 January from injuries. As regards the shooting dead of Thomas Donaghy on 16 August as he arrived for work at Portna Eel Fishery, an area covered by the Ballymoney UDR, there is some background information which le relatives and friends to suspect collusion. Thomas Donaghy was an ex-prisoner who left the IRA several years before his release from prison and did not become re-involved.
The RUC harassed and tormented him non-stop from the three newtownaabbey from his release to his death. In the same area Gerry Casey was shot dead in his home on 4 April by a gang who smashed in his door mena after he went to bed. The police had already drawn a plan of the bedrooms of his house on a raid. His murder came only newtoenabbey after two men with a sledge-hammer were stopped at a checkpoint on their way to kill a Dunloy man a q miles from where the Caseys lived.
In the same area of Kilrea, John O'Kane survived a booby-trap attempt on his life, 5 March ; another man with him, Stephen Kennedy received head and eye injuries. The UDR had been in the bojfriend on the night. There was a second booby trap attempt on O'Kane's life the following year I would suggest that international human rights organisations, besides carrying out post factum investigations and reports, should set up a newtwnabbey Adair' type emergency team of lawyers, forensic experts, photographers, engineers, newtownabey doctors to fly immediately to the aid of families after they have a member shot dead by the security newtlwnabbey.
Vital information may be lost through a cover-up. One no longer has full confidence in forensic evidence gathered by the authorities. It is important that the families have independent autopsies and that as much evidence as possible is gathered in statements from witnesses. Photography and mapping are also important.
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The legal experts should then attend the inquests and trials that may emerge. Those who dare to challenge the British authorities, such as solicitors, also are in danger of assassination.
On 17 JanuaryDouglas Hogg, a junior government Home Office minister stated in Westminster that 'there are in Northern Ireland a of solicitors who are unduly sympathetic to the cause of the IRA'. This statement was interpreted as a warning to solicitors not to contest too vigorously cases against British government institutions. Three weeks later, as though to underline this point, Pat Finucane, one of the leading human rights' lawyers in Northern Ireland, who had been particularly active in a of the cases investigated by John Stalker, was murdered by the UDA in front of his family Amnesty International in its recent report focuses on this murder: 'A year before his death Amnesty International had heard from a former detainee that during interrogation at Castlereagh the police had said his lawyer, Pat Finucane, would be killed Loyalist sources claimed that prior to the killing UDA members detained at Castlereagh had been told by detectives that Mr Finucane and a few other solicitors were IRA members and implied that they should be shot.
Although some of them were later arrested by the Stevens team, apparently none of them were questioned about these allegations. Furthermore it was reported that Brian Nelson, the alleged British army and UDA intelligence officer questioned by the inquiry, knew that Patrick Finucane would be shot, and indeed had been involved in providing intelligence which led to the lawyer's killing'. All the information that has been disclosed about Pat Finucane's murder would suggest that the decision to kill him was taken by British Intelligence agents.
It is clear that the use of UDA death squ has and is being employed by the British authorities for their own sinister purposes. One welcomes the recent proscribing of the UDA. The present inquest system in the north of Ireland is inadequate. It is not a large demand to ask for instant reform. It would show some goodwill on the part of the British government in the matter of law and justice. Bereaved relatives are denied elementary standards of justice.
The DPP should give reasons for decisions not to prosecute in cases involving the security forces. He should be answerable to the citizens of the state. The police force needs restructuring to include nationalists and republicans who are strong elements in the society of Northern Ireland. One suspects that the violation of human rights on the part of the state is linked to this scandalous situation.
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One would like an official explanation of 'detention in military custody' which is practised when soldiers are remanded pending trial. Submission to Initiative '92 and the Opsahl Commission. An abbreviated form was published by Relatives for Justice in The Violation of the Right to Life? In the report I included two examples of unjust killings to illustrate the violation of the right to life. The shooting of a civilian, Aidan McAnespie, on 21 Februarywhen walking by a British army post at Aughnacloy, County Tyrone, is here related by his sister, Eilish.
He is secretary of Relatives for Justice. He was born in Aughnacloy, a predominantly loyalist village on the border with the Republic of Ireland. The area historically had a high unemployment rate, that is, for those nationalists living there.
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As a consequence, Aidan looked for work across the border and was fortunate enough to get a job in a poultry processing plant in Monaghan town, in the Republic of Ireland, some ten miles south of Aughnacloy To go to work each day, Aidan had to pass through a permanent British army checkpoint at the southern side of the village. As a result, the security forces became familiar with him and often asked him to remove his car from the road for what was termed a 'routine search'.
They would then take the car apart, removing door panels and wheels. They would also search through his lunch with their bare hands saying, You'll be late for work today Aidan'. Aidan made complaints to his trade union about these incidents and they made representations on his behalf, but the harassment continued unabated. On other occasions they would ask him to remove his coat, shoes and socks in the rain.
When he refused, they would put him on the ground and one soldier stood on his throat while another pulled off his shoes and socks. Aidan made complaints to the local RUC station. It was not unusual for Aidan to be taken into the British army base for a vehicle search two or three times a week and the car pulled apart. The harassment got so bad that he stopped driving through the checkpoint; instead he would drive to the filling station just south of the checkpoint and would phone my mother.
She would then cycle down through the town and out past the checkpoint and walk back through with Aidan. On one occasion a soldier shouted after them, Are you trying to protect your son Mrs McAnespie? He could have wallpapered his room with official complaints made to the RUC both through solicitors and the local parish priest. Aidan's life revolved around the continual threat of harassment and physical violence at best and the real threat of being killed at worst.
A soldier stopped my father a year before the shooting and asked, Are you Aidan's father? On 21 FebruaryAidan parked his car at the northern side of the checkpoint and walked towards the local GAA pitch, which was just south of the checkpoint. He had only walked three hundred yards when a single bullet from a heavy calibre machine-gun cut him down, in the prime of his life, on a lovely sunny afternoon, while on his way to a Gaelic football match.
Aidan's life was taken, his killer watched him walk towards the football pitch, aimed and fired to kill.
This is the view of our family and many community and church leaders. In stark contrast the British army described the incident as a tragic accident.
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They claimed, firstly that the gun used was being passed from one soldier to another when it was accidentally discharged. This later changed to one of accidental discharge when the gun was in the process of being cleaned. Because the Northern Ireland office's statement of what happened supported this version, all subsequent investigations carried out by the RUC were mobilised to support this explanation of events. In actual fact, the security force explanation was so incredible that they had to create evidence to support their claim.
For example, eye-witnesses saw a man coming out of a sanger from which Aidan was shot, wearing casual clothes and sports shoes. The next day the British army had a of their people painting the checkpoint dressed in casual clothing. Aidan's car was parked close to the checkpoint in a nationalist housing estate. On the day of the funeral eye-witnesses saw a man remove it. Our family phoned the local RUC station to report it missing.
CID in Dungannon were not aware of the missing car. We then phoned the local police to report the stolen car. The press got to hear about the missing car and shortly after speaking to the local police, a local journalist could tell the family that the car was removed by police for its safety. It seems incredible that of all the cars parked in the housing estate this was the only car in some kind of danger. In addition, the army claimed, that due to the accidental discharge of the weapon, three shots were fired, one of which ricocheted off the road hitting Aidan.
Local people living nearby say the army reconstructed this of things when, as darkness fell, a flashing light was placed at the spot where Aidan was shot and three shots were heard fired. It is widely believed that the army fired the shots to mark the road to support their ricochet theory. When challenged by the press, the army claimed that they came under fire from terrorists, a claim denied by the IRA and local people nearby who say no attack of any kind took place.
A soldier, David J. Holden, was charged with unlawful killing. While on this charge he was allowed to go home to his family in England. Approximately six months later all charges were dropped. At Aidan's inquest, the coroner, Roger McLernon, said the death was a cause of 'profound regret' and 'was avoidable and should have been avoided'. The RUC stated at the inquest, and it was repeated by the coroner, that there was no suggestion that Aidan had ever been involved in any form of illegal activity Guardsman Holden was not compelled to attend the inquest.
The coroner advised the jury that, although the soldier was entitled under law not to attend, his unsworn statement should be treated with caution. The only other soldier in the sanger when the fatal shot was fired was conveniently absent without leave for the six months to the inquest. The coroner said this was 'amazing' and of 'profound concern. Our family was not present at this inquest because we had no faith in its ability to discover the truth.
We have a series of unanswered questions: Why did the gun that killed Aidan have 'a live round in its breach while being cleaned'? Why was it cocked? Why was the safety catch off? How could David Holden's hands still be slippery and wet ten minutes after he finished washing sanger walls? Is it possible to accidentally exert nine pounds of pressure on a weapon's trigger, pulling it backwards and upwards?
Why was Holden out of uniform, wearing what appeared to be a track suit when he left the sanger under police escort after the shooting? How could the Northern Ireland Office release a definitive statement of the shooting less than an hour after it had taken place?
Was this a rigorous investigation? It must be remembered that this is in no way the only incident of its type. On the day of Aidan's funeral the only serving member of the British army, Private Ian Thain, convicted for the murder of an Irish person, Kidso Reilly, was set free after serving just over two years of a life sentence. He returned to active service in fact he was never discharged from the British army. Holden was subsequently released and was charged before a military tribunal with not taking proper care of a weapon and was disciplined.
He was later discharged on medical grounds and is a free man. While all three were members of the IRA they were all unarmed and could have been arrested. In all three instances the scientific evidence pointed to the fact that all three were finished off on the ground. These killings had all the hallmarks of other Shoot-to-Kill deaths carried out by the British security forces in Northern Ireland.
The families of the dead decided to challenge these killings through the courts. Justice was not forthcoming through the British legal system, so seven long years later their case was heard by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. In its judgement the court stated that the actions of the authorities lacked 'the degree of caution in the use of fireanns to be expected from law enforcement personnel in a democratic society'.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Michael Heseltine stated: 'If we were faced with similar circumstances as those in Gibraltar, I have not the slightest doubt the same decisions would be taken again'. Exactly a year later wih young Irishman, Diarmuid O'Neill, was shot dead by the British security forces in a house in London. He too was unarmed and the authorities employed the same excuses for his death as they did when they murdered the three in Gibraltar. Within Relatives For Justice we firmly believe that the British government carried out the O'Neill killing with pre-meditation, as a bloody act of defiance against the highest human rights court in Europe, the European Court of Human Rights.
The killings were carried out by members of the British army's elite regiment, the SAS. While all three were on active service for the IRA at the time of their deaths they were, hoyfriend, all unarmed. They were in Gibraltar planning an attack against British army personnel. Since November of the year, both the British and Spanish authorities had been aware that such an attack was being planned.
And on 6 March the three had been closely followed by the Spanish police as they travelled in two separate vehicles to Gibraltar from Marbella. The Spanish police have stated since the killings that they informed their British counterparts that all three were unarmed and were not in possession of any explosive devices.
It is worth noting that the day following the killings the British government in parliament thanked the Spanish for their co-operation. Indeed, he entered the colony using a passport in the name of Coyne, which was known to the authorities. Nestownabbey parked the car in a parking area where on the following Tuesday a British army band was to assemble. He did all this under the watchful eye of the British tl. My sister and Dan McCann crossed the border at 2.
As the pair passed a petrol station a police siren sounded and they turned to see at least two armed SAS soldiers in plain clothes approach them. Despite that the soldiers opened fired. Carmen Proetta was discovered not by the police but by a researcher working for Thames Television which was making a programme on the shootings entitled Death on the Rock. The bofriend believed Ms Proetta's evidence because it coincided with another she had received from a person who did not wish to come forward publicly Ms Proetta told Thames television, 'They [security forces] didn't do anything That's all.
They didn't say anything, they didn't scream, they didn't shout, they didn't do anything.
These people were turning their he back to see what was happening, and when they saw these men had guns in their hands they put their hands up. It looked like the man was protecting newtownabby girl because he stood in front of her, but there was no chance.
I mean they went to the floor immediately, they dropped'. The gunman was about four feet away At the inquest into the killings Mr Bullock, a lawyer by profession, stated, 'I think with one step he could have actually touched the person he was shooting'. The scientific evidence presented by the pathologist Professor Alan Watson at the inquest corroborated boyfrienr evidence. The upward trajectory of the bullets meant that the gunman was either kneeling and shooting upwards or that my sister newgownabbey on the ground or close to it when these shots were fired.
These three shots were the fatal ones. She had also head wounds, but these were superficial. Professor Watson believed she had first been shot in the face and then in the back. In total she was shot eight times. The pathologist further believed that Dan McCann had been first shot in the jaw. This had stunned him and then the lethal shots 'when he was down or very far down' were fired.
Dan had two entry bullet wounds in his back which were again close together. The trajectory of the bullets were also upward. He had an entry bullet wound at the top left back of his head, which also strongly suggests he was on the ground when this shot was fired. There were three independent witnesses to this shooting. Diana Treacy told the inquest that she saw two men running towards her. Another independent witness newrownabbey a British holiday-maker, Mr Robyn Mordue.
In the commotion of the shooting he was knocked to the ground when a woman on a bicycle collided with him. He thought there was a madman on the ram, as he saw a man who had been walking towards him being shot again and again. He got up yo ran behind a car where he was sick. He then looked back at the death scene, but what he saw is not clear. Mr Mordue was a very nervous witness. He had reason to be nervous. Before the inquest his identity was only known by the authorities.
Nevertheless, in the weeks leading up to the inquest he received a of threatening phone calls, 'Bastard stay away'. Mr Mordue's telephone is ex-directory. Kenneth Asquez was the third witness to this killing. Up until the inquest he had remained anonymous, but he decided to retract this statement. However, Asquez's retraction must be treated with scepticism. But until the inquest these two facts had not been publicised.
At the inquest many observers believed that Kenneth Asquez had also been put under pressure by those who feared the truth. The scientific evidence produced by Professor Watson was damning. He had seven head wounds, five of them were pd to be entry wounds. This was the first time the pathologist had seen this photograph. Professor Watson replied: Yes, that would be reasonable. However, there were only three independent witnesses found and two of them were discovered by the media.
The same was true for witnesses to the shooting of my sister and Dan McCann. The police failed, for example, to set up the customary incidents' centres in the vicinity of the killings. There is in police methodology a universal principle known as the preservation of the scene of the crime. It was applied sparingly in Gibraltar on that day Within minutes of the killings, the police had ensured that it would be extremely difficult to reconstruct the killings. Spent cartridges were collected without first marking where they had been found.
The bodies were removed without first photographing them in situ. The killers were not interviewed by the police until two weeks afterwards. There the police, too, failed to preserve the scenes of the shootings. As a result valuable evidence was tampered with and lost. Also the RUC,just like their Gibraltar counterparts, were recalcitrant man the search for eye-witnesses; they too failed to set up the customary incidents' centres in the vicinity of the killings.
The similarities between these killings would suggest a set plan for the execution of unarmed dissidents. In the Gibraltar case the positive obstruction of the establishment of the facts concerning the shootings continued. The pathologist, Professor Watson, was not given the normal co-operation. The hospital had an X-ray machine, which he would need to trace the track newtpwnabbey the bullets through the bodies, but it was not newtownabbeey at his disposal.
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The clothing had already been removed; torn fabric can help determine entry and exit wounds, while the spread of blood stains could indicate whether the three were upright or prone when they were shot. The photographs taken in the morgue were inadequate, the police photographer not being under Professor Watson's supervision at the time. He was not supplied with surgical assistance.
Subsequently he was not given any copies of the ballistic and forensic reports, nor the reports on the blood samples he had submitted in London on his return to Britain. The systematic disruption of routine procedures parallels exactly the persistent refusal to arrest the three suspects at numerous opportunities. The forensic scientist, David Pryor of the London Metropolitan Police, had also been hampered in his work. The blood soaked clothes had been sent to him in bags.
Instead, Professor Watson testified on 8 September and Mr Pryor on 27 September, with the result that the ificance of the combined evidence was deliberately blurred. In other words, the obvious question arising from the scientific evidence, too, was: why were these three unarmed people not arrested rather than killed? Despite having publicly praised in the House of Commons the role of the Spanish police in the surveillance of the three, the British authorities began to claim that the Spanish had in fact lost track of the three on 6 March and that their appearance in Gibraltar took the British security forces by surprise.
On top of that, the security forces were convinced that the bomb was to be detonated by remote control. The soldiers in their testimony claimed that the movements of the three seemed to indicate that they were about to use a 'button job', as they described it in tabloid-speak, and therefore had to be shot to death.
To back up the claim that the Spanish police had lost the three the Gibraltar police tried to present a copy of an alleged statement from a Spanish police inspector, Rayo Valenzuela, supporting this line. Our lawyer objected to its admissibility as the police inspector, who supposedly made it, would not be attending the inquest and therefore would not be available for cross-examination.
It now transpires that this document is totally fraudulent. Not only was the statement unsworn, but the English translation delivered to the coroner was even uned. However, a sworn statement does exist and was sent to the Gibraltar authorities. On 11 April the Spanish Minister of the Interior told the Spanish Senate that a Spanish police officer made a statement for the inquest, which was sworn before a judge.
This statement was never presented to the inquest.
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Any attempt by our solicitor, Paddy McGrory, to probe into the surveillance operation was made impossible with the issuing of a Public Interest Immunity Certificate by the British government. Nevertheless, this aspect of the official story was exposed when the head of Gibraltar's Special Branch, Detective Chief Inspector Joseph Ullger, gave evidence. He admitted that the authorities had deliberately allowed the three to enter Gibraltar in order to gather evidence for a subsequent trial.
It also became apparent that on 6 March a member of the Gibraltar police was present on the Spanish side of passport control with the aliases and passport s of the three. The British gave no real evidence to back-up their claim that the notional bomb in the white Renault would be detonated by remote control. Health 7 hours How to Brighton with a mean boyfriend And then we spent Sunday at the spa and Purley online auction the pool.
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