Long raises Amnesty International report in Parliament

Alliance East Belfast MP Naomi Long will tomorrow (Wednesday) seek a commitment from the Secretary of State to play an active role in delivering a comprehensive mechanism to deal with the legacy of the Troubles.

The Alliance MP will ask Theresa Villiers to respond to Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland: Time to Deal with the Past, which looks to create an effective process for dealing with the past, during Northern Ireland Questions.

East Belfast MP Mrs Long said the report, originally published in September and for which she is hosting a launch at Westminster immediately before Northern Ireland Questions, was another important contribution to the debate about how we should deal with the past and address the needs of victims and wider society.

Naomi Long MP said: “This is not about reopening old wounds or about living in the past.

“It is about recognising that for those most profoundly affected, whether bereaved or injured, the past impacts upon them daily and shapes their present. It is also about acknowledging that unless we deal with these issues in a comprehensive way, as a community we allow the events of the past to control and limit our future.

“This Parliamentary report launch is a chance to raise the importance of this issue and seek the response of the Secretary of State to the ongoing debate, which is of particular importance in the context of the Haass talks process.

“The events of last week have been a timely reminder that not only do we need to think carefully about the impact on victims as we address these issues, but also that the UK Government is not merely a facilitator in this process, but a protagonist in our past, and needs to actively engage in this process.”


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