Thursday, 6 July 2006

An Open Letter: July 7th and the Inquiries Act 2005

The July 7th Truth Campaign are issuing the following letter to individuals and organisations lobbying the government for an inquiry into the events of July 7th 2005. Full details of the organisations to whom this letter has been sent, along with the responses received, will published in due course:

The July 7th Truth Campaign, of whom you may be aware via recent media coverage in the Guardian 'G2' supplement, and the response we issued to that article on the 'Comment is Free' web site, was established with the aim of getting to the truth about what happened in London on July 7th 2005, the day that 56 people were killed and over 700 injured.

We have been outraged at the immediate and continued refusal of the government to hold a public inquiry. We believe that the excuses given by the government for their continued refusal to hold a public inquiry are, quite frankly, a nonsense. We also believe the continued refusal to conduct a fully independent public inquiry into such an atrocity is actively against the public interest.

Since the release of the official Home Office 'narrative' on 11 May 2006, which raised more questions than it answered, the July 7th Truth Campaign have mobilised around a single, simple call to the government, namely, that the authorities RELEASE THE EVIDENCE which supports the suppositions and conjecture contained in the official 'narrative'.

The July 7th Truth Campaign fully supports all calls, from all sections of the community lobbying the government for a truly Independent Public Inquiry and is writing to a number of organisations and individuals campaigning for a Public Inquiry into the events of July 7th, to determine their position on any 7/7 inquiry proposed under the terms of the Public Inquiries Act 2005.

The Inquiries Act 2005 was, in part, brought about in response to the call for a full and Independent Public Inquiry into the brutal murder of Pat Finucane. He was shot dead by two masked men on 12 February 1989 in front of his wife and his three children at their home in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He was shot 14 times, including at close range. In the aftermath of his killing, evidence emerged that police and military intelligence agents had colluded with Loyalist paramilitaries in his murder, as well as there being allegations of an official cover-up of such collusion.

Amnesty International has called for judges to boycott all inquiries under the Inquiries Act 2005, specifically in support of Pat Finucane's widow, and has also demanded that the act be repealed. To date, the UK government has not been able to identify any judge willing to take on the Finucane inquiry under the terms of the act.

Under the terms of the Inquiries Act 2005:
  • the inquiry and its terms of reference would be decided by the executive; no independent parliamentary scrutiny of these decisions would be allowed;
  • each member of an inquiry panel, including the chair of the inquiry, would be appointed by the executive and the executive would have the discretion to dismiss any member of the inquiry;
  • the executive can impose restrictions on public access to the inquiry, including on whether the inquiry, or any individual hearings, would be held in public or private;
  • the executive can also impose restrictions on disclosure or publication of any evidence or documents given, produced or provided to an inquiry;
  • the final report of the inquiry would be published at the executive's discretion and crucial evidence could be omitted at the executive's discretion, "in the public interest".

The July 7th Truth Campaign supports the joint calls of Amnesty International, The Law Society of England and Wales, the Finucane Family Campaign and other legal, human and civil rights organisations, in their opposition to any inquiry conducted under the Inquiries Act 2005, including any inquiry into July 7th, should it ever be granted. We also support Amnesty International's call to repeal the act.

We are writing to ask you to join us in our call to the government and authorities to RELEASE THE EVIDENCE that supports the official Home Office narrative, our demands for a fully Independent Public Inquiry into the events of July 7th, outside the flawed framework of the Inquiries Act 2005, and the repeal of the Inquiries Act 2005.

We hope we can count on your support and look forward to hearing from you soon.

The July 7th Truth Campaign Team

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