Ms Anderson and justice campaigners Niall Murphy of Relatives for Justice and Paul O’Connor of the Pat Finucane Centre met with senior officials from the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commission in Strasbourg in March of this year to discuss state killings and torture in Ireland.
As well as raising the failure of the British government to properly investigate state and state-sponsored killings in Ireland in breach of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights the delegation also raised new evidence that the British government had lied to the European Court of Human Rights on the torture of 14 people known as ‘The Hooded Men’.
Martina Anderson said:
“In March of this year, following a series of successful meetings I hosted in Brussels I arranged consultations with a number of MEPs and EU Officials and over 30 representatives and family members of victims of British State violence.
“At the meeting with the Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner we raised the issue of new evidence uncovered which shows the British government lied to the European Court on the case of 14 hooded men tortured after the introduction of internment in 1971.
“We made it clear that a ‘Package of Measures’ put in place by the British government to address its human rights violations were all abject operational failures because it was unwilling to adequately fund and equip investigations to enable them to carry out the work they are allegedly set up to do.
“We also asserted our belief that the Police Ombudsman’s office should have the power to compel former RUC officers to cooperate with its investigations.
“On my return to Europe I intend to contact the Human Rights Commissioner to enquire as to what course of actions his consideration of our presentation would suggest.
It is now clear that the British Government lied to the European Court in this case and I am calling on the Human Rights Commissioner to investigate Britain’s Human Rights record in Ireland.”
Ms Anderson, Niall Murphy and Paul O’Connor met in Strasbourg with Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Nills Muiznieks, Director of the Human Rights Directorate Christos Giakoumopoulos and Clare Brown from the Department of the Execution of Judgements.