[Sinn Fein]

12th December 2001

EU Council `Framework Decision on Combatting Terrorism'

Commenting on the motion to endorse the EU Council `Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism' Deputy Ó Caolain said:

``I deplore the fact that once again, as with the European Arrest Warrant, the Government is asking the Dáil to act as a rubber stamp on a proposal which has huge implications for civil rights in this country and throughout the EU.

``On the basis of one clause alone this Council Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism should be thrown out. Item 11 effectively rules out the concept of State terrorism when it says ``actions by the armed forces of a State in the exercise of their official duties are not governed by this Framework Document''. At the same time there is a wide-ranging definition of `terrorism' which includes ``causing extensive destruction to a Government or public facility''.

``By this definition the British Army's murder of 14 people on Bloody Sunday would not be terrorism but the burning of the British Embassy in Dublin would be terrorism. We have seen how in Britain and the Six Counties catch-all conspiracy laws have been used to trample upon the rights of citizens and entailed major miscarriages of justice. This measure paves the way for similar injustices.''

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