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Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2006 - United Kingdom

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 14 March 2007
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2006 - United Kingdom, 14 March 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/48747cef23.html [accessed 12 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Status of the inquiry into the assassination of Ms. Rosemary Nelson91

On October 20, 2006, an assessment on the status of the inquiry into the murder of Ms. Rosemary Nelson, a lawyer and a member of the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ), was presented to the Panel of Inquiry established in November 2004 following lengthy proceedings aimed at initiating a public investigation into her assassination.

Ms. Nelson had been killed on March 15, 1999 in Lurgan, Northern Ireland.

On April 19, 2005, the chair of the Panel had opened a preliminary inquiry into her death under the new Inquiries Act92, the conclusions of which were to be made public on January 16, 2007.

On October 25, 2006, during the third procedural hearing of the Panel, its chair decided to postpone the preliminary hearing and announced that they would not start until September 2007, as the conclusions of the inquiry were not yet finalised.

Status of the inquiry into the murder of Mr. Patrick Finucane93

On May 23, 2006, Mr. Kenneth Barrett, a former paramilitary loyalist who had been sentenced on September 16, 2004 to 22 years in prison, after confessing his involvement in the assassination of Mr. Patrick Finucane, a human rights lawyer murdered in his Belfast home in 1989, was released in accordance with the provisions of the Belfast Agreement.

This peace agreement, also known as the "Good Friday Agreement", was concluded in Belfast (Northern Ireland) on April 10, 1998. It provides, inter alia, for the principle of anticipated freedom for prisoners sentenced for "terrorist offences " perpetrated before the agreement was adopted.

In spite of the increasing number of calls for the opening of a public inquiry into the assassination of Mr. Patrick Finucane, no inquiry panel had been set up by the end of 2006.


[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website (www.fidh.org) was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

91. See Annual Report 2005.

92. According to the law, public inquiries are overseen by the government, which appoints – and may remove – each member of the inquiry panel. The government may also restrict public access to inquiry evidence and testimonies, and may decide, in "the public interest", not to publish the inquiry's findings.

93. See Annual Report 2005.

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