Human Rights – commissioners must clarify position

Alliance Party Justice Spokesperson, Stephen Farry, has criticised calls from Frank McGuinness and Patricia Kelly for the resignation of the Human Rights Commissioner, Brice Dickson, and demanded that they clarify their own position of whether they are in or out of the Commission.

Stephen Farry stated:

“It is clear that the campaign to undermine the NI Human Rights Commission continues.

“The Commission has bent over backwards to address the misplaced concerns that have been levelled against it by its critics. The publication of the Action Plan should have marked at end to the sniping.

“These calls serve to confirm suspicions that there is a political agenda at work. I imagine that we will soon seen see the usual suspects again jumping on the bandwagon. Their timing is interesting given the visit of the blinkered Comptroller of New York Alan Hevesi to Belfast.

“Indeed, both Mr McGuinness and Ms Kelly have to answer serious questions about their own status of Commissioners. They have continued to be members of the Commission since the Holy Cross row erupted on the Commission in 2001. Why did they remain Commissioners? The Action Plan has been out now for almost a month – again, why no comment until now?

“Finally, are they in or are they out of the Commission? They can’t remain nominal members of the Commission but not participate in its work. They cannot have it both ways.”

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