PSNI stop and search ‘disproportionately targeting’ minority communities | Irish Legal News

PSNI/RUC – Rebranded – Still Sectarian

17th February, 2023.
Human rights campaigners have raised concerns about the disproportionate use of stop and search by the PSNI on people from minoritised ethnic communities and on children.

Figures published this week show that 21,190 people were stopped and searched in Northern Ireland by police last year.

People from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds accounted for 1,259 stops, or almost six per cent of the total, despite making up just 3.4 per cent of the total population according to the 2021 census figures.

Irish Travellers were the ethnic group most disproportionately searched by the PSNI, accounting for 353 stops, 2.7 per cent of the overall figure, despite making up just 0.1 per cent of the population as a whole.

Children aged 13 to 17 make up only six per cent of the population but accounted for almost 11 per cent of all stop and searches in Northern Ireland.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International UK’s Northern Ireland director, said: “If you are from an minoritised ethnic community you are almost twice as likely to be stopped and searched by the PSNI than if you are from the white majority community. The police need to explain why this is the case.

“Black and minority ethnic people in Northern Ireland tell us they feel over-policed, yet under-protected when they themselves are victims of racist hate crime.

“The use of stop and search on children is also deeply disturbing. There were almost 3,000 stops of children under these powers last year, yet very few searches resulted in an arrest, suggesting the vast majority of stops were wholly unnecessary.

“We note with regret the PSNI’s continued failure to record the community background of those subjected to stop and search, despite repeated calls by the Policing Board for it to do so.

“Every unnecessary stop and search can leave a negative impact on community relations, with thousands of people left feeling unfairly targeted. In the long run, that is bad news for police community relations.”

With many thanks to the: Irish Legal News (ILN) for the original story.

Follow this link to to find out more on this story:

Tory plan to water down Human Rights Act to protect ex-soldiers would turn UK into pariah, experts warn

Move could end in Britain leaving the European Convention on Human Rights altogether, prime minister told

Conservative plans to water down the Human Rights Act – to prevent prosecutions of soldiers accused of murders in Northern Ireland – will make the UK a pariah, the party has been warned.

The move could also lead to Britain leaving the European Convention on Human Rights altogether, at huge cost to the country’s reputation, legal experts said.

The backlash came after Boris Johnson pledged to end what the Tories call “unfair trials”, by banning inquests from returning verdicts of unlawful killings for deaths during the Troubles.

It would involve amending the HRA – the key legal route for families seeking to prove British state involvement in killings – to exclude any death in Northern Ireland before it came into force in October 2000.

But Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general, now running as an independent, attacked a confusing announcement that he suggested was simply “electioneering”.

“I am very sensitive to soldiers not being harassed about events that happened a long time ago, but the rule of law has to be upheld as well,” he told The Independent.

Amnesty International said: “All victims have the right to an independent investigation – that is a cornerstone of the rule of law throughout the world. “

And Mark Stephens, a solicitor specialising in human rights, said: “This sounds like clickbait for Tory voters.

“The UK has been a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights since 1958 and if we want to remain part of that convention any amendment of domestic legislation will have to be compliant with it.”

The Tory pledge follows a long campaign by veterans’ groups which have protested that the law is being abused to hound retired soldiers years after the events in question took place.

But, under Article 2 of the ECHR, nations are obliged to carry out an effective official investigation into deaths where lethal force had been used against individuals by agents of the state.

Investigations using the inquest system have been used by families to try to prove that their loved ones were killed unlawfully.

Mr Grieve added: “If we seek to stop inquests, we may fall foul of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. And if we seek to interfere with prosecutions, well, I’m staggered that any government would consider it.”

He warned it could lead to leaving the ECHR altogether, adding: “That would be a very bad destination indeed, because we are one of the leading countries seeking to apply it to improve standards, not just in Europe, but around the world.”

Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland campaign manager, added: “It is essential that no-one, including members of the Armed Forces, is above the law.

“Yet in preventing former soldiers from being prosecuted over killings and other abuses that took place during the Northern Ireland conflict, that is exactly where this would place them.”

Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign affairs minister, also criticised the plan, tweeting: “There is no statute of limitations, no amnesty for anyone who committed crimes in Northern Ireland.

“The law must apply to all, without exception, to achieve reconciliation.”

With many thanks to: The Independent and Rob Merrick Deputy Political Editor for the original story@Rob_merrick


Remembering The Gilbraltar Three – Premeditaded Point Blank Murder


Denise Cannon

Operation Flavius was the name given to an operation by a Special Air Service (SAS) team in Gibraltar on 6 March 1988 tasked to prevent a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb attack. Although the

intention of the operation was stated to be an arrest operaion, it ended with McCann,

Savage and Farrell dead.

The report by Amnesty

International stated that the

inquest failed to answer ‘the fundamental issue, whether the fatal shootings were caused by what happened in the street, or whether the authorities planned in advance for the three to be shot dead.’



Damian Herron > Cumann na saoirse Alba

Hi Damian,

Apologies for not responding to this sooner but I only returned from annual leave yesterday and ploughing through the backlog of emails at the moment.

Thank you for sending on the link from Justice Watch. I have sent that on to our office at the International Secretariat. Regrettably, regarding Stephen’s case, we will be unable to look into this further though I would appreciate it if you send me on any material you come across so I can add it to what we have.

I should explain that Amnesty International has extremely limited capacity, with a very small team responsible for all human rights violations taking place across a large number of European countries.

We simply don’t have the resources to do all the work we would like to do and the fact that we are not in a position to examine Stephen’s case in any more detail should not be taken as a comment on the seriousness of the issues you raise.



Justin Moran

Communications Co-ordinator

Amnesty International Ireland


AMNESTY IInternational has raised concerns over failures to deal with the past in the North of Ireland in its annual report on Human Rights.


The organisation highlighted problems including ongoing violence and threats by republican and loyalist paramilitary groups. It also raised concerns over a “ccontinuing failure” of the British government to establish an “independent thorough and effective inquiry” into the 1989 killing of solicitor Pat Finucane. But the human rights body welcomed reforms being Carried out by the Police Ombudsman Michael Magurie, to improve hhistorical investigations into police misconduct. It also noted the executive’s establishment of an institutional child abuse inquiry. Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International‘s Northern Ireland programme director, said it was clear the north “continues to struggle with the legacy of its recent past”. The British government, he said, had failed to put in place “adequate mechanisms to deal comprehensively with many killings over many killings over many years of violence”. “The year ahead provides new opportunities to not only reform and improve existing mechanisms – and we welcome some steps already being taken in that direction – but also to think anew about how an overall process to deal with the past can be agreed, so that Northern Ireland’s past does not also become its further,” he said. The report highlighted problems in the Republic over prison conditions for young offenders, violence against women and girls and a lack of clarity on abortion laws. Amnesty International said until abortion was allowed in cases of rape and incest, risk to a women’s health, or cases of fatal foetal abnormality, the Republic would be out of line with international humabn rights standards.

With many thanks to : Brendan HughesIrish News.

“But no mention on the Human Rights abuses by the PSNI, or the ongoing injustice’s still happening in 2013 in the North of Ireland and with the likes of the continued imprisonment of Martin Corey and Marian Price amoungst others – Seachranaidhe Irishandproud.



This letter appeared in the Irish News yesterday May 6 2013

MR CORRIGAN of Belfast’s Amnesty international office attempts to defend Amnesy’s stance in relation to political prisoners in his own jurisdiction (April 26).


Marian Price‘s case has been raised and made known by individual human rights activists and by the efforts of her family. I would very much doubt that the public are aware of Amnesty’s stance on the imprisonment of Marian Price, or the ever-increasing number of political prisoners being held on the direct orders of the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, in spite of being granted bail or their freedom by the courts in the North of Ireland. Amnesty say they “have responded to queries” regarding Marian Price’s case. Strangely, when the Russian women involved in the Pussy Riot case were arrested, Amnesty were able to immediately launch a public campaign calling for the women’s release, throwing the full weight of their organisation behind the case. None of the women involved were elderly or sick, and whatever the merits of the case, they have a release date and are not being held indefinitely.


With many thanks to : Mark Duggan, Dublin.


FORMER high Court judge Sir Anthony Hart will chair a government-backed inquiry into child abuse at state and Church-run institutions in Northern Ireland.

English: Join the movement to end child abuse:...

He has come out of retirement to lead the investigation that will draw on the testimony of survivors of abuse in homes, hospitals and orphanages across the north from 1945 to 1995. However, criticisms remain that the probe will not include allegations of abuse that occurred outside the time-frame or away from institutions.” This means that some of the Northern Ireland victims of Brendan Smith’s serial child abuse will be covered by this inquiry. While others will not,” Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International said.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the executive would be bringing forward legislation ” shortly ” to give Sir Anthony powers to compel witnesses and documents. Sir Anthony whose last court cases included the trail of Colin Duffy and Brian Shivers for the murder of two-soldiers in Massereene Barracks and the trial of killer dentist Colin Howell, will be supported by a tea, offering a confidential forum.

Ryan inquiry commissioner Norah Gibbons, ex-Metropolitan Police child abuse investigator Dave Marshall, Tom Shaw, who worked on a similar inquiry in Scotland, and Beverley Clarke, who has experience of social work in Canada, will hear victims’ testimony. The inquiry will then rule if abuse was systemic, suggest whether there should be an apology, decide on a memorial and make recommendations for ” redress “. However, any final decision on compensation will be made by the executive after it considers Sir Anthony’s recommendations.

English: A true story of horrific child abuse ...

Legislation is expected to be brought before the summer recess and the investigation will begin by autumn. First Minister Peter Robinson said Sir Anthony would be ” unflinching in his pursuit of truth”. ” I am confident that the scope and nature of this process is robust, will provide a thorough examination of what happened and will get to the the truth,” he said. Mr McGuinness said legislation would ensure the inquiry had the ” powers, flexibility and protections” needed. Mr Corrigan said a statement in the terms of reference that the inquiry will begin after the commencement of legislation suggested that concerns had been met about whether the probe would have full statutory powers for it’s duration.

However, he said he remained concerned that victims of abuse before 1945 or after 1995 would be excluded and that the issue of redress has ” been put on the long finger”. ” Equally, it is clear that the executive currently has no plans for a similar process of inquiry for victims of clerical child abuse outside institutions,” he said.



United Nations Human Rights Council logo.
United Nations Human Rights Council logo.

Amnesty International Ireland has welcomed a number of key commitments to protect human rights made by the Irish Government at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today.

The Irish Government was replying to 50 of the 127 recommendations made by the council in October to improve human rights in Ireland.

Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, addressed the UN Human Rights Council following the statement by Ambassador Gerard Corr, Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva.

The Government today committed to signing the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Council of Europe Convention on Violence Against Women.

Colm O’Gorman said: “We warmly welcome decisions to sign these treaties that should strengthen human rights in Ireland, and that will help fight violence against women.

“We hope the Government will quickly sign these treaties, and then move to ratify them to ensure the fullest possible protection for people living here.

Regarding Ireland’s agreeing to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, Mr O’Gorman said:

“There is no excuse for the five-year delay since Ireland signed this treaty on enforced disappearances. Quickly ratifying the treaty is essential, both as an act of solidarity with the disappeared around the world, but also if Ireland’s candidacy for the UN Human Rights Council is to have its best chance of success.”


Amnesty International Ireland welcomed Ambassador Corr’s statement that Ireland would provide the council with an interim progress report but was critical of the refusal of the Irish Government to fully accept some recommendations.

Colm O’Gorman said: “While there was some good news today, we are disappointed that the Government failed to fully accept the recommendation to put housing and health rights into Irish law.

“The severe funding cuts in these areas makes it all the more necessary to put these rights in law to protect the most vulnerable. We are calling on the Government to ensure ways of doing this are examined by the Constitutional Convention.”

The organisation also noted the Government’s disappointing response to recommendations on Traveller ethnicity and corporal punishment of children, and the failure to address the abuse suffered by women and girls in the Magdalene laundries.


Today’s session in Geneva concludes the examination of Ireland by the UN Human Rights Council under a system known as Universal Periodic Review.

Under this method the human rights record of every UN member state is examined once every four years by their peers.

In October 2011, the UN Human Rights Council, after examining Ireland’s record, made 127 recommendations for improvement. The Government accepted most of those recommendations and was today responding to 50 it agreed to look at in greater detail. Of these, Ireland fully accepted 29, partially accepted a further 17 and rejected four.

Read Amnesty International Ireland’s response to the UN Human Rights Council.

Charge or Release? Israeli military courts as an enforcement mechanism of occupation

Graphic for Palestinian Political Prisoners’
Day, 17 April 2012

Khader Adnan’s 66 days of hunger strike under administrative detention, without charge or trial, sparked global discussion, outrage, and movement – perhaps the largest ever seen in the long history of the Palestinian prisoners‘ struggle – as Adnan’s courage, steadfastness and strength inspired solidarity the world over. During that time, it was on many occasions expressed that Khader Adnan should be charged, or released. Administrative detention is a particularly appalling mechanism of political detention – based on secret evidence, with no cognizable charges and no opportunity to confront said ‘evidence’ – used arbitrarily by Israel to hold Palestinian organizers for six-month renewable periods.

The abolition of administrative detention (a call which has been taken up by Amnesty International) is a long-term demand of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement – and Israel’s use of this system violates international law. However, it must be noted that “being charged” in the Israeli military courts, the justice system that governs Palestinians in the occupied West Bank of Palestine, is in no way a solution for Palestinian political prisoners. Any trial provided to a Palestinian political prisoner under such a system is fundamentally unjust and a mechanism of perpetuation of occupation. The military courts are not an alternative to administrative detention; instead, administrative detention is one piece of the structure of mass imprisonment and military rule constructed by the occupation. Given the prominence of the “charge or release” conversation in Khader Adnan’s case, it is important to explore what being “charged” in Israel’s military courts means for Palestinians under occupation and apartheid.

Out of 4,489 Palestinian political prisoners currently held in Israeli jails, 309, including Khader Adnan, are held under administrative detention. Imprisonment is a fact of life for Palestinians;over 40% of Palestinian men in the West Bank have spent time in Israeli detention or prisons. There are no Palestinian families that have not been touched by the scourge of mass imprisonment as a mechanism of suppression.

Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails come from the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jerusalem, and Israel. All – including the Palestinians of ’48, who hold Israeli citizenship – face deeply unjust structures throughout the process of arrest, charge, trial and sentencing. Far from being an objective, neutral or beneficient system for Palestinians, the Israeli court system is part and parcel of the mechanism of occupation, bolstering and serving as a direct arm of military/state power in enforcing occupation control over Palestinian lives and land.

Over 2,500 military orders govern the West Bank. The “Order Regarding Security Provisions [Consolidated Version] (Judea and Samaria)” grants the Israeli military “the authority to arrest and prosecute Palestinians from the West Bank for so-called ‘security’ offenses,” notes Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. Another military order, issued in August 1967 and still in place today, criminalizes organizing protests, assemblies or vigils, waving flags and political symbols, and printing political material, and “also deems any acts of influencing public opinion as prohibited ‘political incitement’, and under the heading of ‘support to a hostile organization,’ prohibits any activity that demonstrates sympathy for an organization deemed illegal under military orders.”

The Israeli military retains for itself the right to declare any Palestinian organization ‘illegal’ and thus prosecute membership or association with that organization. Most Palestinian political parties, including Islamic Jihad (which is one of the four largest political parties in Palestine), as well as countless labour unions, student groups, women’s organizations, and other sectoral groups, fall squarely into the category of ‘illegal organizations’ and a large number of Palestinian political prisoners who have been “charged and tried,” are serving sentences for ‘membership in an illegal organization,’ ‘support for a hostile organization’ and similar charges.

In the Israeli military courts, the charge of ‘membership in an illegal organization’ carries no maximum sentence, although “a military court decision instead set… a precedent that the minimum penalty is 24 months’ imprisonment. In fact some Palestinians, such as Ahmad Sa’adat, have been sentenced to as much as 30 years’ imprisonment on such charges. Under Israeli criminal law, the maximum penalty is one year…”

Palestinians facing military courts are often confronted with secret evidence; can be denied access to lawyers for up to 90 days; can be held for up to 2 years “until the end of legal proceedings;” and confront vague and non-specific charge sheets. It should be noted that settlers in the West Bank do not face this system of military courts; they, instead are directed into the Israeli criminal justice system, with much higher protections for the accused and much lower sentencing ranges. Addameer notes one particularly egregious example of this disparity: “On 21 January 2011, Israeli settler Nahum Korman who beat an 11-year-old Palestinian child, Helmi Shusha, to death, was sentenced to 6 months of community service. On the same day, Suad Ghazal, a 15-year-old Palestinian girl accused of attempting to stab an Israeli settler was sentenced to 6 and a half years in prison.”

Israeli military trial judges are active members of the Israeli military; many are former military-court prosecutors, and not all military judges are required to hold completed legal training.

It must be noted that the net effect of “trying” a Palestinian for membership in Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Hamas, or for that matter, Fateh, all of which remain illegal organizations under the arbitrary Israeli military orders governing the West Bank, is to place that person in prison for a minimum of two years for membership in a political party. Rather than encouraging such a structure as an alternative to administrative detention, it is incumbent upon those of us who would stand in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners to recognize that administrative detention is one piece of an entire system that exists in order to buttress occupation and undermine Palestinian existence, resistance, and organization. In order to build solidarity, we must refuse to accept as normal or legitimate the criminalization of Palestinian resistance and politics by the Israeli occupation.

Palestinians from Jerusalem, in particular those from East Jerusalem occupied in 1967, face a dual system of law, usually being held for interrogation under the military system before transfer to the Israeli civil system for trial, but under the category of ‘security prisoner.’ Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, prior to 2005, were subject to the same military orders as prevail in the West Bank. Following the 2005 “disengagement,” Palestinians from Gaza abducted by the Israeli military are now held as ‘unlawful combatants,’ and subject to an administrative detention scheme with no six-month limits.  Palestinian political prisoners who are citizens of Israel are charged as ‘security’ offenders in the Israeli civil system, depriving them of rights afforded to criminal defendants. ‘Security offenders’ may be held for 60 days without being charged and denied access to a lawyer for three weeks. They are subject to the same interrogators from the Israeli Security Agency as are prisoners from the West Bank and Gaza – and thus the same tactics of abuse and inhumane treatment amounting to torture.

The Israeli court systems – certainly the military system, but also the civil ‘security’ system – are no solution for Palestinian prisoners. Instead, those systems are mandated to enforce the rule (and the illegitimate “law”) of occupation and apartheid. 

Khader Adnan is the latest in a long line of heroes and heroines of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement. Over the years, many of them have used the hunger strike – Adnan the longest – as a powerful weapon of dissent and resistance, placing their bodies on the line to confront the occupation within its own prisons. Most recently, in October 2011, hundreds of prisoners engaged in ahunger strike for over twenty days demanding the end of isolation and solitary confinement. Many of those prisoners have been held under administrative detention; many thousands more through the ‘trials’ and ‘convictions’ of the Israeli security regime. All of those prisoners need continuing support and solidarity, and the growth of such solidarity is one way in which Khader Adnan’s hunger strike, and his courage, will continue to challenge and confront the occupation.

An international coalition of prisoners’ rights and Palestine solidarity organizations have called for global mobilization for April 17, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day (and what will be the day of Adnan’s release.) Such a global mobilization is also an opportunity to link the struggle of Palestinian prisoners in mutual solidarity with political prisoners elsewhere, from Leonard Peltier to Ricardo Palmera to countless others in the jails of the U.S., Canada, and the world.  This includes Palestinian political prisoners in international jails; the 65th day of Khader Adnan’s hunger strike was also the 9th anniversary of Dr. Sami al-Arian’s arrest. Al-Arian remains under house arrest in Virginia today, years after he was acquitted on the majority of charges – and convicted of nothing – by a jury, because he refuses to be forced into becoming an informant on the Palestinian community.


POSTED ON BEHALF OF : by on February 23, 2012


The call to action for April 17 states:

“We must not allow Khader’s struggle to pass, like so many before his, as one more brave stand crushed by the armed might of the Israeli apartheid regime, unremarkable and inconsequential. Rather let this historic moment mark the beginning of a revitalized global movement for Palestinian prisoners, their rights, their families, and their struggle. Together, we can make it so.”

APT Geneva – Working Worldwide to Prevent Torture

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Tanya Norton Detention Monitoring Adviser

Route de Ferney 10
P.O. Box 2267
1211 Geneva 2
+41 22 919 2187
+41 22 919
Jean-Sébastien Blanc Detention Monitoring Adviser
P.O. Box 2267
1211 Geneva 2
+41 22 919 2183
+41 22 919 2180
Mr. Jean-Sébastien Blanc joined the APT in 2010. He studied History and Russian in Switzerland and International Relations in Argentina. Before joining the APT, he worked as a delegate of the ICRC in the South Caucasus. He has also worked for various NGOs, including Amnesty International, and as a journalist. He is fluent in French, Spanish, English and Russian.
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Dear Madam/Sir, I wish to urgently highlight the case of Brendan Lillis Prison number A1005. HMP Maghaberry,Upper Lisburn,old road.BT28 2PT Northern Ireland.He must be sent to a proper Hospital to receive medical care as Mr.Lillis’s conditon has increasingly worsened.THIS IS NOW AN EXSTREAMLY URGENT MATTER and your help in his case would be greatly appericted,yours thankfully
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