Alliance Deputy Leader Eileen Bell has said that a Victims Commission is an essential part of any legislation concerning the return home of ‘on-the-runs’.
The North Down MLA stated:
“For too long the entire political process has focused on those who caused suffering rather than those who were victims of it. Although we accept that the issue of those who have not faced trial for terrorist offences has to be dealt with, the emphasis must be on those who suffered from those offences.
“As we have seen in the last week, it is somewhat hypocritical of other parties to jump on this band-waggon as a means of political opportunism. This is not a party political issue, it is an issue of common human decency.
“As part of any package concerning ‘on-the-runs’ and ‘exiles’, we would expect to see rigorous consultation on the establishment of a wholly independent Victims Commission. We wish to see an end to tribal trade-offs that simply remove confidence in this process, and a beginning of a genuine process of reconciliation for everyone.”