Relief at the ruling by European Court of Human Rights

News Letter editorial
News Letter editorial

There will be relief across Northern Ireland at a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, relating to Northern Ireland.

Colin Duffy, the leading republican, claimed that his detention under UK terror laws breached his human rights.

Duffy was held for 12 days after he was arrested on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Sappers Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimkar outside Massereene barracks in Antrim in 2009. He was later acquitted of their murder.

Duffy’s claim, along with two other people, relied on an article under the European Convention on Human Rights relating to the entitlement to trial within a reasonable time or release pending trial.

Duffy’s claim was ruled inadmissible on the grounds of time.

Aspects of the other two claimants’ complaints were rejected, and the European judges said that their 12-day detention was “a relatively short period of time”.

The Ulster Unionist MEP Jim Nicholson was entirely right yesterday to remember the human rights of the two murdered soldiers. They are two names in a long list of the victims of murdering republican terror gangs.

For decades, republicans ran rings round a restrained British legal system that played by the rules.

Now, despite the very restraint that ensured the freedom of dedicated loyalist and republican terrorists, republican groups and their supporters have the audacity to claim that the British were the villains, and they the victims.

When this notion comes before the average man, as it did in 2012 in an inquest into the deaths of two IRA men shot dead by the SAS in 1990, juries reject attempts to blame the state.

When such matters come before human rights judges, the results are more uncertain.

This is why the Tories are right to look at repealing the Human Rights Act, that has latterly ended up protecting the rights of Islamic fanatics and apologists for mass murder.