Assembly will call for lifting of threat to exiles: Bell

Alliance Deputy Leader Eileen Bell has said that today’s debate on an amnesty for paramilitary fugitives and those forcibly expelled from Northern Ireland by paramilitaries will show that the Assembly believes those expelled by terrorists should be allowed to return home free from any threat to their lives.

Mrs Bell, Alliance Victims Spokesperson, said she had been disappointed by recent comments by NIO Ministers, who stated that the Government could not link the issues.

Mrs Bell, who is proposing today’s motion, said: “It is clear to most people that there is a basic unfairness at the heart of the Government’s plan to grant an amnesty to terrorists ‘on the run’ from the law, while paramilitaries continue their disgusting practice of forcing people out of Northern Ireland.”

“Last year between 700 and 900 people were told by republican and loyalist terrorists to get out of Northern Ireland and not to return if they valued their lives. Yet in a few weeks time, the Government will put legislation before the Commons which will allow paramilitary fugitives back into this country.”

“Where is the sense of justice there? People want to see a greater degree of fairness in the political process. If we are to build a new society here, then there must be justice for everyone. It is time those parties which claim to stand up for human rights started to live up to their word.”


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