- 11 Oct 22
Last month on September 11th, hundreds of people gathered in Belfast to protest the Northern Ireland Legacy bill.
Belfast star and Belfast-born actor Ciarán Hinds has spoken out to urge British prime minister Liz Truss to scrap the controversial Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill.
The bill proposes amnesty for crimes committed during the Troubles for those who cooperate with an information body, and has been met with strong opposition from those claiming that war crimes will be essentially erased without justice from history.
Hinds wrote an open letter to Truss in which he said the bill would "permanently cut off any prospect of justice" for affected families. "For many families who lost loved ones that chapter is not closed, and cannot be, without the healing that only real justice can bring," the 69 year old wrote.
"The rule of law must apply to everyone, without favour. No-one, whether a state or non-state actor, should be above the law. I stand with the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, partners and grandparents of the victims, and all those who are united in strong opposition to your proposals set out in the legacy Bill to permanently deny Troubles victims paths to justice," he continued.
He referenced the death of a 12-year-old named Majella O'Hare, who was shot by a soldier. Her brother Michael has been "fighting for 44 years for the independent investigation to which they are entitled."
Northern Ireland deputy programme director for Amnesty International UK, Grainne Teggart, said of the letter, "Liz Truss has an opportunity to swiftly abandon this deeply unjust and cruel Bill and send a message that she stands with victims, for justice and the rule of law." She added, "It's never too late to do the right thing."
Last month on the 11th of September, hundreds of people gathered in Belfast to protest the bill. With almost universal opposition to the bill, all eyes are on Truss to scrap it. Aside from providing amnesty, it would halt future civil cases linked to any killings during the conflict.
Watch the video of Hinds' reading his letter below: