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Action Alert - Contact Representatives Re: Collusion

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Thursday December 07, 2006 07:11author by Jay Dooling - Irish American Unity Conference Report this post to the editors

Americans & the US Congress Needs to be made aware of British Collusion with Paramilitaries.
iauc_banner_new_1.jpg

ACTION ALERT:
CONTACT SENATORS, CONGRESSMEN & MEDIA ABOUT COLLUSION

I am sure you all have read about the recent report issued
by the Notre Dame group on collusion in Ireland. (summary
of that report is provided below).

The Irish American Unity Committee, made up of
representatives from all the major Irish American groups,
has send the following letter to all US Senators and
Representatives in order to educate them on this issue.

It would be helpful if we, as individuals and
representatives of other organizations, could follow-up
this letter with personal letters, telephone calls or faxes
to our own elected Senators and Congressmen. Any press
coverage that you could encourage of this issue would also
be beneficial.

We should let our representatives know that we are aware of
this Problem and that Republic of Ireland also recognizes
the need to fully and independently investigate this issue.
Below also is a recent Press Release from the IAUC
regarding the Irish government’s investigation of collusion
between the British & the loyalists.

Also listed below are links to site where we can find
contact information for our senators & congress people,
local newspapers online & Mitchell Reiss (State
Department).

Attached to this email are two files. One is the letter
from the Irish America Unity Committee & the other is the
Notre Dame report. Just emailing or faxing these files to
your representatives could help.

Jay Dooling

******************************

Irish American Unity Committee
c/o Jim Cullen Anderson Kill & Olick, P.C.
1251 Avenue of the Americas New York, New York 10020

November 30, 2006

Dear Representative:

Attached is a report on alleged British government
collusion in sectarian killings in Northern Ireland
recently issued by the Center for Civil & Human Rights of
the Notre Dame Law School. The Center's panel of inquiry,
chaired by Dr. Douglass Cassel, was made up of four
individuals with vast international experience
investigating human rights abuses in Africa, South America
and Asia.

The panel examined 25 cases of suspected loyalist
paramilitary violence involving 76 murders occurring during
1972-77. The panel's central mission was to examine whether
the UK government had a case to answer with respect to
allegations of collusion, in terms of both its substantive
and procedural responsibilities under international law,
and to determine whether further official investigation was
required under international human rights law.

The report was compiled at the request of the Patrick
Finucane Centre, a Northern Ireland based organization,
that records and examines evidence of state and sectarian
violence in the north of Ireland. The panel was completely
independent in its inquiry.

We request that you review the executive summary report
which we have enclosed. The full report is available at:
http://law.nd.edu/news/cassel_report.html

If you would like additional information please contact
Julie Coleman at 732-235-4907 or via email at
unityinactioncommittee@yahoo.com

Sincerely,

Robert Linnon, President of Irish American Unity Conference

Jack Meehan, President of Ancient Order of Hibernians

Paul Doris, Chairman of Irish Northern Aid

Ned McGinley, Past President of Ancient Order of Hibernians

Joe Jamison, President of Irish American Labor Coalition

Gerry Coleman, Political Education Director of Irish
Northern Aid

Gerald Lally Esq, Political Education Chair of Irish
American Unity Conference

Kevin Barry, Irish American Unity Conference

Stephen M McCabe, Irish Parades Emergency Committee &
President, Brehon Law Society Nassau County

Julie Coleman, Irish American Unity Committee & Irish
Northern Aid Committee

Patrick Doherty, Brehon Law Society

James Cullen, Esq, Brehon Law Society

Jim Gallagher, Past President of Irish American Unity
Conference

Deanna Turner, National Coordinator of Irish Deportees of
America Committee

Michael Cummings, A.O.H. Freedom for All Ireland Committee

Sean Pender, A.O.H. Freedom for All Ireland Committee

Sean Cahill, Irish Parades Emergency Committee

******************************

REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT INTERNATIONAL PANEL ON ALLEGED
COLLUSION IN SECTARIAN KILLINGS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

Center for Civil and Human Rights
Notre Dame Law School
Notre Dame, Indiana USA 56556
cchr@nd.edu

October 2006

Panel Members:

Douglass Cassel, Chair
Susie Kemp
Piers Pigou
Stephen Sawyer

KEY FINDINGS:

Collusion:

The Panel examined 25 cases of suspected loyalist
paramilitary violence in Northern Ireland during 1972-77.
The 25 cases involve a total of 76 murders as well as
attempted murders. In 24 of the 25 cases, involving 74 of
the 76 murders, evidence suggests collusion by members of
the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) or the Ulster Defense
Regiment (UDR):

:: In 12 cases - 11 murders and one attempted murder --
former RUC officer John Weir accuses RUC officers and
agents or UDR soldiers of participation. The panel finds
Weir's allegations, in general, to be credible.

:: Firearms were used in eight of the 12 cases alleged by
Weir. In seven of those eight cases, RUC ballistics tests
corroborate his allegations. In none do they contradict
him.

:: RUC ballistics tests show that one or more of these
firearms were also the murder weapons in five more of the
25 cases.

:: Criminal convictions link two more of the 25 cases to
involvement by State security forces.

:: Of the six remaining cases, there is evidence, in some
cases strong, of State security force involvement in five.
Only one case - a 1975 attack on a minibus near Gilford -
appears to lack evidence of collusion. But given inadequate
police investigations, no conclusion can be drawn.

:: Documentary, testimonial and ballistics evidence
suggests that the violent extremists with whom RUC officers
and agents and UDR soldiers colluded - and even overlapped
-- gained much of their arms and ammunition, as well as
training, information and personnel, from the RUC and UDR.

Knowledge by Superiors:

:: Credible evidence indicates that superiors of violent
extremist officers and agents, at least within the RUC,
were aware of their sectarian crimes, yet failed to act to
prevent, investigate or punish them. On the contrary, they
allegedly made statements that appeared to condone
participation in these crimes.

:: Even after Weir and another officer confessed in 1978 -
information that should have blown the lid off RUC and UDR
involvement in murdering Catholics - police investigations
and ensuing prosecutions were inadequate by any reasonable
standard.

:: As early as 1973, senior officials of the United Kingdom
were put on notice of the danger - and indeed of some of
the facts - of sectarian violence by UDR soldiers using
stolen UDR weapons and ammunition, and supported by UDR
training and information. At least by 1975 senior officials
were also informed that some RUC police officers were "very
close" to extremist paramilitaries.

Earlier Police Investigations:

:: Both the original police investigations of the 25 cases
in the 1970s, and the later police investigations following
the allegations made public by Weir in 1999, were deficient
by any reasonable standard.

Current investigations and reforms are inadequate:

:: The British government deserves credit for introducing
reforms that will make future investigations more likely to
meet international standards.

:: However, these reforms will not help the victims in the
25 cases examined by the Panel, or many other victims of
past collusion in sectarian murders.

:: To date very few cases have been referred to the Police
Ombudsman, who in any event lacks jurisdiction to
investigate UDR soldiers.

:: The Historical Enquiries Team, established by the Police
Service of Northern Ireland, does not meet international
standards for investigations. Moreover, except where its
enquiries lead to new prosecutions - unlikely in most cases
from the 1970's - it plans to share findings only with
families of victims, and not with the public.

:: The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is
meticulously supervising British compliance with six
judgments of the European Court of Human Rights in cases
from Northern Ireland. However, except in those six cases,
the Committee focuses on reforms for the future. Its
current supervisory effort does not assist other victims of
past collusion - including the families in the 25 cases
examined by the Panel.

MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS:

Consultation:

:: The panel urges the government to conduct a thorough and
inclusive consultation with all interested groups and
individuals in relation to the choice and nature of
measures adopted to fulfill the obligations referred to in
this report.

Investigations:

:: The British government should conduct investigations
that meet international standards in the 25 cases examined
by the Panel, and in all other past cases involving serious
allegations of collusion.

:: To meet international standards, such investigations
must be undertaken on the initiative of the State, by
independent investigators, capable of assessing whether
murder or attempted murder was committed and of identifying
perpetrators, subject to public scrutiny, and carried out
without further delay.

:: Investigations should examine and report on patterns of
collusion, not merely individual cases.

:: Investigations should examine how high up the chain of
command in Belfast and London there was knowledge,
acquiescence or complicity in murder and attempted murder.

:: Investigations should examine collusion in sectarian
murders, not only by the RUC and UDR, but also by the
British army and intelligence agencies.

:: Investigations should also credibly examine murders
committed by Republican groups.

Moral Reparations:

:: Results of investigations (including those of the
Historical Enquiries Team) should be made public.

:: Where adequate investigation indicates collusion by
State security forces in sectarian murders, the State
should publicly acknowledge its responsibility.

:: In such cases senior officials should publicly apologize
to families of victims.

:: Paramilitary groups on both sides of the conflict should
cooperate with credible official investigations.

I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

A. The Panel and its Mission (Chapter II of the Report)

In 2004 the Pat Finucane Centre of Derry asked Professor
Douglass Cassel, then of Northwestern University School of
Law, Chicago, Illinois, USA, to convene an independent
international panel of inquiry into alleged collusion by
members of United Kingdom security forces in sectarian
murders and other serious crimes in Northern Ireland in the
mid-1970's - and particularly the activities of the so-
called "Glenanne group."

The panel's central mission is to examine whether the
British State has a case to answer with respect to
allegations of collusion, in terms of both its substantive
and procedural responsibilities under international law,
such that further, official investigation is required by
international human rights law.

The Independent International Panel consists of four
members, all with extensive relevant experience, as
follows:

:: Professor Douglass Cassel teaches international human
rights, international humanitarian and international
criminal law, previously at Northwestern and now at Notre
Dame Law School in the United States of America.

:: Susie Kemp is an international lawyer based in The Hague
who is Legal Adviser to Impunity Watch.

:: Piers Pigou served as an investigator for the South
African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and as advisor
to East Timor's Commission for Reception, Truth and
Reconciliation.

:: Stephen Sawyer is Senior Counsel and Clinical Assistant
Professor of Law at the Center for International Human
Rights of Northwestern University School of Law in the
United States of America.

:: Thomas Vega-Byrnes, a Chicago-based attorney with
extensive international experience, was the panel's
counsel.

The panel is professionally independent of the Finucane
Centre. Its terms of engagement (Appendix A to its Report)
are to investigate and report in an "independent and
impartial manner according to its professional judgment."
Its final report is to be published "independently of
whether the [Finucane Centre] agrees with its conclusions."

The panel provided draft copies of its report to the
Finucane Centre, the British government and the Police
Ombudsman for Northern Ireland. Helpful comments were
received, which the panel has taken into account in this
final version.

The panel understands that in the polarized atmosphere of
Northern Ireland, it is difficult for any assessment of
human rights violations to be accepted as objective by all
sectors. Nonetheless the panel hopes that its effort to
examine the evidence in an impartial, professional manner
will suggest the importance of a more thorough, official
inquiry, with full access to State files, and independent
of the police and army and other agencies allegedly
involved in collusion. Only so can the British government
make clear to victims, to history - and to itself - the
extent to which its agents participated or colluded in or
tolerated gross violations of human rights, for which its
offices have, to date, failed to conduct due investigations
and prosecutions or to make due disclosure and reparation.

******************************

IAUC: State Sponsored Terrorism in N. Ireland Needs Public
Inquiry

The Justice Committee of the Republic of Ireland has
reported that successive British governments knew of and
encouraged the widespread collusion between its government
security forces and Unionist death squads. Based on this
and other reports* with similar conclusions, the Irish
American Unity Conference again calls on the British
government to hold a full independent, public inquiry into
these allegations.

The Justice Committee found that the Royal Ulster
Constabulary (RUC) Superintendent Harry Breen was complicit
in acts of collusion between his men and Unionist death
squads. The report further reveals that in 1975, British
Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and the then Conservative
Party Leader, Margaret Thatcher, were told that the RUC
could not to be trusted because many officers were close to
the loyalist paramilitaries. They were also informed that
the British military was heavily infiltrated by Unionist
paramilitaries who could not be relied upon in a crisis.

While there can be no hierarchy of victims, there are
degrees of guilt. Those who were sworn to uphold the law,
are still conspiring to cover-up these crimes by not
independently investigating them. Such violations of the
public trust by public servants needs a full, public
inquiry and those who are guilty need to suffer the
consequences.

Any hope for reconciliation in Northern Ireland needs a
full, fair disclosure of public corruption at whatever
level it exists.

* Other Reports on Collusion

:: Sir John Stevens (former Metropolitan Police
Commissioner),
:: Professor Douglass Cassel (Law professor at Notre Dame)
:: John Stalker (Greater Manchester Deputy Chief
Constable),
:: Retired Canadian Judge Peter Cory (commissioned by the
British Government),
:: Several crown coroners

******************************

For a list of all newspapers according to State:
http://www.onlinenewspapers.com

To find your Senator visit: http://www.senate.gov

Telephone numbers for Senators can be found at:
http://www.senate.gov/general/resources/pdf/senators_ph...t.pdf

List of mailing addresses for all Senators:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senat...m.cfm

To find your Members of Congress visit:
http://www.house.gov

Telephone Numbers of all offices:
http://clerk.house.gov/members/ttd_109.pdf

Mailing labels/list of addresses to send letters to each
Member of Congress in MicroSoft Word format:
http://clerk.house.gov/members/wordmemberlabels.doc

Copy Mitchell Reiss:

Mitchell B. Reiss
Director of Policy Planning Staff for the Department of
State
U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW Room 7311
Washington , DC 20520
Tel: 202-647-2972 Fax: (202) 647-0844
Email: policyplanning@state.gov

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