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SoS Karen Bradley’s Offensive Comments

Time for Truth Campaign Response to SoS Karen Bradley’s Offensive Comments

Families of the Time for Truth Campaign have called the comments that British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley MP made in the House of Commons today (6.3.19) erroneous, vile and reprehensible. They have also asked for an immediate meeting with the Secretary of State if she does not resign so she can listen to families of those killed by British Armed Forces.

The Time for Truth Campaign has responded to the answer given by SoS Karen Bradley MP to the DUP’s Emma Little-Pengelly MP in the House of Commons today which included the erroneous, vile and reprehensible assertions that:

“Over 90% of the killings during the Troubles were at the hands of terrorists. Every single one of those was a crime. The fewer than 10% that were at the hands of the military and police were not crimes… They were people acting under orders and under instruction and fulfilling their duties in a dignified and appropriate way.”

Bradley’s remarks are particularly odious as, this very day, the brave Ballymurphy families fight for truth and justice in Belfast’s High Court and the Bloody Sunday families await news as to whether the British Army killers of their loved ones will face proper justice and prosecutions.

Hundreds of other families killed by British Armed Forces and their death squads across Ireland and beyond find the comments of this absentee Secretary of State reprehensible. Her words have caused untold hurt and have re-traumatized many families still grieving the violent deaths of loved ones.

We request an immediate meeting with Karen Bradley so she can listen to the stories of family members bereaved by the British Armed Forces – families who are still fighting for truth and justice, in some cases nearly half a century later.

Speaking on behalf of the Time for Truth Campaign, Ciarán MacAirt said:

“Bradley’s disgusting comments have caused grave harm to many of our families even though we expect no less from a Tory Minister and we know her use of statistics is deliberately skewed. She has not accounted for the hundreds of killings perpetrated by and at the behest of state agents. Furthermore, she will never be able to whitewash such indefensible killings as the deliberate shooting dead of civilians including children, never mind all of the other unlawful killings by the British Armed Forces. And if the killers were ‘acting under orders’, we will expect to see their commanding officers in the dock along with them.

“No matter how much Bradley or the British Government wish to distance themselves from responsibility for these unlawful killings and no matter how much they seek to pervert the course of justice and influence the legal system, the courts will decide if the rule of law still exists.”

“We request an immediate meeting with Karen Bradley so she can listen to families impacted by state violence. She is well briefed by those who commanded the killers so she can make time to listen to those who suffered at their hands. That is, of course, she has not resigned which may be the only dignified and appropriate action for her to take.”

“In the meantime, all of the families including those working with the Time for Truth Campaign, will continue their fight for truth, justice and acknowledgment. Her words do little other than cause grave hurt and highlights why we require the immediate implementation of the mechanisms for dealing with the past as agreed under the Stormont House Agreement. That is why we mobilised the Time for Truth Campaign and why we brought thousands on to the streets of Belfast in February 2018. It is also why we will be prepared to bring thousands back on to the streets again.”

Notes for Editors

The Time for Truth Campaign is made up of families from across the country who are victims and survivors of the conflict. Further info: http://tftcampaign.com/about-time-for-truth/.

For further comment, email Ciarán info@tftcampaign.com / phone 02895 818575

The 3 demands of the Time for Truth Campaign are:

1. Implement and adequately resource the Stormont House Agreement legacy mechanisms in a human rights compliant manner

2. Adequately resource the Lord Chief Justice’s 5-year plan to clear the backlog in legacy inquests

3. Adequately resource the Office of the Police Ombudsman to allow it to complete outstanding historical investigations

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