[Sinn Fein]

26 February 2001

Answers required of British government on activities of FRU

Sinn Fein Human Rights Spokesperson Foyle MLA Mary Nelis has said that it is imperative that the full details of the activities of the British Army's Force Research Unit (FRU) is made known to the public.  Ms. Nelis said:

``It is now widely accepted that the FRU by colluding with loyalist murder gangs had a hand in the killings of nationalists and republicans.  However, it is essential that the full range of activity in which this secret British Army unit engaged is made known.

``The role of Brian Nelson, the public face of collusion, in arming and directing Loyalists and his relationship with FRU and the ultimate responsibility of the British government in directing attacks on nationalists and republicans need to be brought into the open. ``While sufficient information with regard to FRU activity has been in the public domain for some time the interests of public confidence will not have been served until a full and comprehensive public inquiry has been completed.

``Sinn Fein are concerned that the second Stevens Inquiry has clearly run into problems.  John Stevens should stand aside and offer full support and co-operation to a new public inquiry that should crucially have the power to compel witnesses to give evidence and the power to protect witnesses that come forward.

``From the information already available it is clear that many questions will have to be answered by the British government with regard to:

``People who have lost loved ones or who have themselves been targeted as a consequence of FRU activities have a right to the truth.  It is imperative that the British government provides answers to their questions as a matter of urgency.''

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