[Sinn Fein]

28th July 1999

Plastic bullet regulations 'an insult'

Mary Nellis Assembly member for Foyle and Sinn Fein spokesperson on Human Rights, has described the British Home Secretary's restrictions on the use of plastic bullets as ``an insult to those who have been killed, injured and betrayed by those lethal weapons.

Cllr Nellis said:

``The new regulations which dictate that plastic bullets cannot now be used to protect property ignored the consistently flagrant misuse of these deadly projectiles by the RUC and British army.

Seventeen people have been killed and hundreds and men, women and children have sustained serious injuries as a result of British forces firing plastic bullets in circumstances which have raised concern among civil and human rights organisations around the world.

The restrictions which have been imposed are as a tactic admission from the British government of its demilitarisation programme which should have been published nine months age under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Plastic bullets have caused untold misery for many families through the decades and I will be urging the Human Rights Commission which has been established through the Agreement to pursue the banning of these projectiles as a matter of urgency.''

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