Bloody Sunday March Committee call Free Derry protest over ‘amnesty’ for British soldiers

Protestors are to assemble at Free Derry Corner tomorrow to demonstrate against the planned introduction of a de facto amnesty for all killings conducted during the conflict.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 10:47 am

The rally has been organised by the Bloody Sunday March Committee (BSMC). The BSMC said the proposed statute of limitations to cut-off prosecutions will ‘deny justice to victims and grant amnesty to British soldiers’.

The event has been advertised under the heading ‘The British system don’t know how to spell the word JUSTICE, never mind dispense it’ as a reference to a quote from Paddy Hill of the Birmingham Six.

People are being asked to assemble, at 1pm, at Free Derry Corner.

The protest has been called after British Secretary of State Brandon Lewis proposed ‘a statute of limitations to apply equally to all Troubles-related incidents’ on Wednesday.

The BSMC said: “The Tory government’s announcement of an amnesty for British soldiers is nothing but the same old story.

“Their top priority is to get their soldiers get off scot-free. They have had to include paramilitaries to give an appearance of even-handedness.

“But their real intent is clear from their constant references to ‘vexatious’ prosecutions of former soldiers.

“Never a mention of the vexatious prosecution of civilians.”

On Wednesday Mr. Lewis said the proposals will ‘deliver on our commitment to veterans who served in Northern Ireland’ and provide ‘certainty to the former members of the security forces, many of whom remain fearful of being the subject of ongoing investigations that hang over them for years to come.’

The BSMC said: “The Guildford Four, the Birmingham Six etc. Were those prosecutions not vexatious?”

It added that there were historic prosecutions in the North which turned out to have been “frame-ups”, adding: “Were these not ‘vexatious?’”

The committee said soldiers involved in killing innocent people on Bloody Sunday were agents of the British government and that it will continue to march for justice on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday next year.

“The reason we will be marching again on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday in 2022 is precisely to make this point. The families of victims can’t call it quits on the basis of a scheme drawn up by the British Government with the primary purpose of getting their soldiers off the hook.”