Irish Republican News · December 15, 2003
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
`No more plastic bullets' call for Christmas

Lobby group Relatives for Justice has called on the British government to stand by its commitment to ban plastic bullets by this Christmas.

The weapon has been responsible for the deaths of 17 people, seven of whom were children. Thousands have been injured by the PVC plastic missiles, fired at victims from a special police gun.

Earlier this week, the British government issued revised guidelines on the use of plastic bullets, but RFJ spokeswoman Andree Murphy, insisted that not go far enough.

She urged the government not to renege on a commitment given during negotiations at Hillsborough in which they stated that they would discontinue the use of plastic bullets by Christmas 2003.

``Rather than making a statement confirming this commitment, the government has produced new guidelines on the use of plastic bullets.

``The fear is now that their strategy is to continue with these lethal weapons under ``new'' guidelines.

``The irony and timing of this latest news on International Human Rights Day will not escape those concerned with the promotion of human rights in Ireland.''

The guidelines were issued to police on Monday by British Home Office Minister Hazel Blears.

``The guidelines now include specific reference to the implications of the European Convention on Human Rights and also highlights that every effort should be made to ensure children are not placed at risk,'' she said.

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© 2003 Irish Republican News