Amnesty joins calls for an investigation into Hooded Men case

Earlier this week the Irish government announced that it would ask the European Court to revise its previous judgement on men who said they were tortured during the Troubles. This follows on calls from parties such as Sinn Fein who had pressed the government to support the groups bid for another examination of their case.

This afternoon the group met with Former Commissioner for Human Rights for the Council of Europe, Thomas Hammarberg at the Stormont hotel to raise their case. Hammarberg has history in Northern Ireland as he led a delegation from Amnesty International to Belfast 40 years ago to investigate allegations of torture.

Speaking about the Hooded Men case Hammarberg said;

Time does not heal all wounds, if justice is not done.

I was deeply disappointed when the European Court of Human Rights concluded that the ill-treatment of detainees in Northern Ireland under emergency powers in the early 1970s did not amount to torture. Similar methods have since then been used against suspects not least during the US led war on terror.

Now that an application has been made by Ireland to revisit the judgement, it should be in the interest of the UK government, as a signatory of the UN Convention against torture and the European Convention on Human Rights, to ensure that the facts be clarified in this critical case.

Hammarbergs calls were echoed by Amnesty Internationals NI Director, Patrick Corrigan, who stated;

The Irish government has done the right thing by referring this case back to the European court. The spotlight now falls on the UK and its obligation to deliver an independent and effective investigation into the allegations.

 

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  • mickfealty

    Interesting feature in the Guardian yesterday about why Human Rights law is less useful than it might be because of its ambitious breadth.

    We know these incidence caused some good citizens to take to the gun, but I’m puzzled by the politics of this too.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    Amnesty has such a great record of non-partisanship in Northern Ireland … 😉

    A shame, as they have done great work elsewhere. I hope they get justice in this case, whatever that turns out to be. But they have a lot of work to do to convince me they approach helping the victims of torture and oppression in Northern Ireland in an even-handed way. In our part of the world, having an ex-IRA chief of staff running the Amnesty show seems naive at best. As a result Amnesty has been deeply compromised as an organisation on Irish issues. However, there are a lot of good people involved in Amnesty and I’m sure they’ve made efforts since to distance themselves from the toxic MacBride.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    sorry that comment about the MacBride years read like they happened yesterday! Not the intention. I also have no idea if the malady lingers on, I hope not.

  • Zeno3

    “Earlier this week the Irish government announced that it would ask the European Court to revise its previous judgement on men who said they were tortured during the Troubles”

    You can read that as Irish Government attempt to outshin the Shinners.

  • kalista63

    As I recall, the Irish government’s actions are as result of the RTE programme which was a result of KRW and the Finucane Centre’s investigations.

    Sorry but not everything is about the shinners. What else were they the government,to do, given the new evidence and revelations?

  • Dan

    Would Amnesty like to see the leadership of the IRA brought to The Hague?

  • PaulT

    “As I recall, the Irish government’s actions are as result of the RTE
    programme which was a result of KRW and the Finucane Centre’s
    investigations.

    Sorry but not everything is about the shinners.
    What else were they the government,to do, given the new evidence and
    revelations?”

    You recall wrong. FG and FF were happy to ignore it (like every other HMG crime) Sinn Fein and other groups kept the pressure on and at the last minute Enda was forced to act.

    Lets be honest, if Slugger could namecheck any other party than SF, then Mick would have.

    SF ain’t the biggest party on the island for nothing

  • PaulT

    read MacBrides wiki entry and weep fella, unionism once again on the wrong side, bit like Micks other recent post, apparently unionism led the anti-slavery movement, yeeaaaaaaaaaah

  • chrisjones2

    Nor do they seem to want to challenge the revelation sin the recent Tribunal on Collusion in the murders of RUC officers in the Republic which showed evidence was destroyed and inquiries obstructed on the direct instructions if Irish Ministers.People were killed>Murderers went free to kill and kill again – because it was a useful political bargaining tool and to haveest Irish vites

  • PaulT

    Enda Kenny was trying to quietly run down the clock to the deadline hoping to avoid embarrassing HMG, which FG and FF both have form on. It was pressure from SF in the Dail and NGOs outside that forced the Govt to do the right thing

  • PaulT

    ” there are a lot of good people involved in Amnesty and I’m sure they’ve
    made efforts since to distance themselves from the toxic MacBride.”

    WHY? outside of unionism and the UK MacBride was held in high esteem, in the middle of the Cold War he was the only person on the planet to be awarded the Order of Lenin AND the Congressional Medal of Honour (he also had the Nobel Peace Prize)

    Look, someone left a big Greek looking wooden horse under your Christmas tree

  • delphindelphin

    ”SFain’t the biggest party on the island for nothing”

    Exactly– they have invested a lot of other people’s money in being the
    biggest party in the island of Ireland, so they have. Fair play I
    say!

  • kalista63

    I’m puzzled by why, as all the men were innocent, any unionist would have an objection to this.

    As a republican, I want the bastards behind Bloody Friday, Kingsmill, Enniskillen and LA Mon hung, drawn and quartered as disgraces to everything I believe in, I don’t get why unionists, very often, don’t feel the same about Bloody Sunday, Ballymurphy, Majella O’Hare and other such cases.

  • Reader

    You must be in a tiny minority of republicans, though. After all, there must be many dozens of republicans who know a great deal about at least one of the above IRA murders, and precisely 0% of them have come forward with evidence.

  • MainlandUlsterman

    yes, wikipedia’s infallibility is well noted

  • MainlandUlsterman

    He was a former leader of the IRA, Paul. And remained a nationalist of the irredentist variety, as well as being a general nob-end by all accounts. His role in the Irish government in the 50s was pernicious, pushing the pointless, cynical “anti-partitionist” nonsense that was fashionable down there at the time (but has since, happily, been abandoned).

    It was his right to be a hardline Irish Republican and of course it’s unproblematic if you’re helping people in Jakarta. But not in 1970s Northern Ireland, at the height of a, ahem, hardline Republican terror campaign. His personal views and history fatally undermined Amnesty’s credibility as an honest broker at that time in dealing with IRA prisoner issues.

    Never mix business and pleasure as they say.

  • Undo Progressive Destruction

    Amnesty International — promoting rights without responsibilities globally.

    As Pope Francis stated at the EU Parliament a couple of weeks ago:

    the rights of the individual are upheld, without regard for the fact
    that each human being is part of a social context wherein his or her
    rights and duties are bound up with those of others and with the common
    good of society itself.

    I believe, therefore, that it is vital to develop a culture of human
    rights which wisely links the individual, or better, the personal
    aspect, to that of the common good, of the ‘all of us’ made up of
    individuals, families and intermediate groups who together constitute
    society,

    In fact, unless the rights of each individual are harmoniously ordered
    to the greater good, those rights will end up being considered limitless
    and consequently will become a source of conflicts and violence.

    Maybe our local subversive Marxists dubiously claiming to speak for “Catholics” should take heed and a good bit of reflection on much of their rhetoric over the past few decades?