Public support vital to 'Sunday' campaign
The families of those killed on Bloody Sunday have called on the people of Derry to pressurise the British establishment into publishing the Saville Report "without government interference"
John Kelly, whose brother Michael was one of those shot dead on Bloody Sunday, and Tony Doherty, whose father Patrick was also killed, yesterday told the 'Journal' public support was now vital as the fight for justice entered its "most crucial phase" in more than four decades.
Under current British government proposals, the North's Secretary of State Shaun Woodward will receive the report on the week of March 22. But it could be another two weeks before the report is seen by the Bloody Sunday families.
Earlier this week, the families launched the Set the Truth Free campaign urging Lord Saville to publish his report into the 1972 massacre independently of the British government amid fears its independence could be compromised.
In a joint statement, Mr Kelly and Mr Doherty said: "This is a travesty in the making and should be stopped. The families believe that this amounts to government interference in what is supposed to be an independent process.
"The British Government is a de facto interested party in the Inquiry as, ultimately, it is responsible for the actions of its army on the streets of Derry on Bloody Sunday."
The campaigners say that any delay may also "facilitate selective leaking of the report" and say the entire Saville Inquiry is now in danger of descending "into a mess and a debacle."
Mr Doherty and Mr Kelly urged the public - both in Derry and right across the world - to help crank-up the pressure on the British Government.
"We are calling on the entire population of the city to get behind us at this crucial time.
"Over the next few weeks we will be taking our cause to the streets of Derry, Dublin, London, Europe and the United States. We have also set up a campaign website - www.setthetruthfree.org - and are in the process of setting up an on-line petition on the 10 Downing Street website.
"An international petition is also available at www.petitiononline.com/glenfada/petition.html
"We would ask everyone to support us by signing these petitions and we are appealing to the Irish diaspora throughout the world to bring this campaign to the attention of politicians in their respective countries."
The campaigners also urged the media and "political, human rights and civil liberties groups in Ireland, Britain and beyond" to support their campaign.
Yesterday, the families raised their concerns with US Consul General Kamala Shirin Lakhdir, and her deputy Kevin Roland in a specially convened meeting organised by Foyle MP Mark Durkan.
Mr Kelly described the meeting as "friendly and worthwhile" and said the American diplomat listened intently as the families briefed her on their current concerns.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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