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Britain finally says sorry for Bloody Sunday killings...

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by X-PASTER, Jun 16, 2010.


    X-PASTER Moderator

    Jun 16, 2010
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    Britain finally says sorry for Bloody Sunday killings...

    The British government finally apologised Tuesday for Bloody Sunday, one of Northern Ireland's darkest days in which 13 people died, calling the killings "unjustified and unjustifiable".

    A British soldier drags a Catholic protester
    during the "Bloody Sunday" killings on January 30, 1972

    Prime Minister David Cameron made the admission as a long-awaited report into why British troops opened fire on a civil rights march in Londonderry in 1972 was published, to joy from victims' families.

    It concluded that none of the victims were armed, soldiers gave no warnings before opening fire and that the shootings were a "catastrophe" for Northern Ireland, leading to increased violence in subsequent years.

    "There is no doubt... what happened on Bloody Sunday was both unjustified and unjustifiable. It was wrong," Cameron told the House of Commons in London.

    "The government is ultimately responsible for the conduct of the armed forces. And for that, on behalf of the government, indeed on behalf of our country, I am deeply sorry."

    The new premier's apology was greeted with cheers from relatives and thousands of supporters listening to his statement on a huge screen in Londonderry.

    Amid jubilant scenes in Northern Ireland's second city, relatives took turns to voice their relief that their 38-year campaign to clear their loved ones' names had been vindicated.

    "Now the world knows the truth," said Liam Wray, whose 22-year-old brother died in the shootings after being shot in the back with what the report said was "no possible justification".

    "Jim was murdered, Jim was innocent," Wray added.

    The killings were among the most controversial in Northern Ireland's history and there had been fears the 5,000-page report could re-open old wounds.

    More than 3,500 people died during The Troubles which pitched Catholics against Protestants and were largely ended by a 1998 peace deal, but emotions still run high in Northern Ireland over its violent history.

    British soldiers, most of whom were identified only by their rank and initials in the report, could still face prosecution over the shootings.

    Northern Ireland's Public Prosecution Service said it was considering whether to prosecute anyone, adding this decision would be taken "as expeditiously as possible" although it gave no date.

    But lawyer Stephen Pollard, who represents some of the soldiers involved in the inquiry, rejected claims that the report had opened the door for British troops to be prosecuted.

    He accused the senior judge who led the inquiry, Mark Saville, of having "cherry picked" evidence to support the investigation's results.

    And a reminder of how relevant the events are to the present day came with a reference to the role played on that day by Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, who was then an Irish Republican Army (IRA) commander.

    The report said McGuinness was present on Bloody Sunday and was probably armed with a sub-machine gun which he may have fired. He denied this and the probe said he did nothing to provoke soldiers opening fire.

    "There was absolutely no foundation or substance to that allegation, which we all have to remember came from very, very suspect characters," he said after the report's publication Tuesday.

    The inquiry, which took 12 years to report at a cost of more than 190 million pounds (275 million dollars, 230 million euros), aimed to paint a full picture of events.

    It was commissioned by then premier Tony Blair in 1998 as the peace process gained momentum and after a 1972 probe, immediately after the killings, was dismissed as a whitewash.

    The inquiry heard from more than 900 witnesses and received statements from around 2,500 people. The evidence ran to an estimated 20-30 million words. It is the longest-running and most expensive public inquiry in British history.

    Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen welcomed the report, saying its publication meant "the truth has been set free".

    And Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said it had consigned past "lies" about Bloody Sunday "into the dustbin of history".

    In Washington, a US State Department spokesman also hailed its publication, saying he hoped it would "contribute to Northern Ireland's ongoing transformation from a turbulent past to a peaceful future".
  2. Sonara

    Sonara JF-Expert Member

    Jun 16, 2010
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    Call for charges over Sunday 'lies'

    David Cameron tells MPs the Saville Inquiry found the actions of British soldiers 'unjustified'

    Prosecutors have been urged to consider bringing charges against soldiers accused of lying to Lord Saville's inquiry into the Bloody Sunday killings.
    Michael Mansfield QC, who represented the families of some of the victims, said the matter was so serious that the authorities should consider bringing charges of perjury.
    In his report, published on Tuesday, Lord Saville concluded that some members of the Parachute Regiment "knowingly put forward false accounts" to justify opening fire on unarmed protesters.
    Mr Mansfield said that while witnesses to the inquiry were given immunity from prosecution if they incriminated themselves in evidence, that did not cover false testimony.
    "I do think, given the strength and clarity of the conclusions, where invented stories or falsehoods were told, that the Director of Public Prosecutions, either here in Northern Ireland or in London, should consider whether it is so serious - because the rule of law has been flagrantly breached on this occasion by a number of soldiers on a number of UK citizens - that consideration should be given to a prosecution," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
    Thirteen people were killed when members of 1 Para opened fire on a civil rights march in Londonderry on Sunday January 30, 1972 in one of the most notorious events of the Northern Ireland Troubles. A 14th died later of his injuries.
    In his scathing report, Lord Saville said they had been victims of "unjustifiable firing" by the paras.
    He rejected claims the victims had been armed with guns and bombs and said that some had been shot as they lay wounded or were trying to tend to the dying.

    Naimani ipo siku itatoke hapa Tanzania wale viongozi na watumishi wao wote walio shiriki katika mauwaji ya aina yeyote yale kwa namna moja au nyingine watafikisha katika vyombo vya sheria vitakavyokuwa vinaongozwa na sheria za haki na sio za watu au kundi fulani .