[Sinn Fein]

16 July 1997

Plastic bullets should be banned - Gerry Adams

Sinn Fein President and MP for West Belfast Gerry Adams has described the so called guide-lines on plastic bullets published today as ``not worth the paper they are printed on.''

Mr Adams continued:

`` The RUC and British Army regularly, and with impunity, breach these guide-lines and have done so for two decades. The evidence in support of this view is overwhelming. There is only one answer to the issue of plastic bullets and that is to introduce an immediate ban.

``It is regrettable that the British Labour government has decided to bow to pressure from the RUC and the British Army and scrap its pre-election policy of withdrawing plastic bullets.

``Once again British Ministers, this time Labour, are excusing the use of a weapon which over 20 years, has established a record for killing and maiming people, mainly children.

``The British Army and RUC have deliberately used plastic bullets as a weapon of terror and intimidation. The guide-lines which supposedly govern their use have been systematically ignored. There is no justification for the use of plastic bullets. They should be withdrawn immediately and a full public and independent inquiry should be held into their use. Those members of the British forces and RUC who have injured and killed with this weapon should be made accountable for their actions.ENDS

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