Pressure for uncensored Cory report
Pressure for uncensored Cory report

The families of four people killed with the collusion of the British state have received their copies of the Cory Report into the killings.

Relatives of Pat Finucane, Rosemary Nelson, Robert Hamill and Billy Wright were given copies 24 hours before the reports are published, after they pledged to remain silent on the documents.

The reports are due to be released tomorrow at the Westminster parliament in London.

Five leading human rights groups this week called on the British government not to edit or censor the reports and to call full judicial inquiries as recommended in them.

The Nelson, Finucane and Wright families had taken the British government to court after publication of a report by retired Canadian judge Peter Cory was inexplicably delayed for six months.

Judge Cory was appointed by the British and Irish governments in 2001 after negotiations at Weston Park, in the British midlands, to examine the case for inquiries.

But it has been reported that some parts of his report will be blanked out for what the British government claims are security reasons.

Sinn Féin said the British government had undertaken in negotiations to publish the report, without reference to censored or edited elements.

Bairbre de Brun said: ``We have heard nothing yet from the British government to indicate that they are going to speedily move on it recommendations.

``The British government commitment was not to publish a Cory Report strongly edited by the securocrats. The fact is that this Report should have been published and published in full months ago. Its recommendations regarding inquiries should have been acted upon before now.

``The families of those killed by the British state through its policy of collusion deserve better. They should not have to endure constant stalling and bad faith from the British government. The editing of the Cory Report and the long delay in its publication are the latest in a long line of such practices.''

Pressure from the nationalist parties for the release of the reports wwas bolstered to by the efforts of leading US senators, including Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry and Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy.

And in a joint statement today, Amnesty International, British Irish Rights Watch, the Committee on the Administration of Justice, Human Rights First and Human Rights Watch said it was essential any inquiries had the confidence of the families and the public.

Setting out the following the demands, the statement said:

``In the immediate aftermath of the publication of each report, the UK should commit themselves to the prompt establishment of four separate inquiries as recommended by Justice Cory.

``The UK authorities should also proceed to a prompt consultation with each family concerned so as to establish accurately their views with respect to the inquiry into the killing of their deceased relative.

``Each inquiry should be established, consulted and conducted in a way as to ensure its competence, independence and impartiality. It is paramount not only that each inquiry be independent and impartial but is also seen to be so.

``The inquiries should be conducted in public and ensure the maximum possible participation of the families concerned.

``The inquiries must be empowered to compel discovery and disclosure of documents as well as subpoena powers to compel the attendance of witnesses.

``The reports of the inquiry should be made public.''

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