Joint NGO statement on the anniversary of the murder of Patrick Finucane - No inquiry 13 years later

12 February 2002

We, the undersigned international and domestic NGOs, deplore the UK Government's failure to initiate a public judicial inquiry into the full circumstances of the killing of human rights lawyer Patrick Finucane 13 years ago. .

Patrick Finucane was shot dead on 12 February 1989 by Loyalist paramilitaries; since then, evidence has emerged which strongly suggests that there was official collusion by both the army and the police in his killing, and a subsequent cover-up. The UK government has steadfastly resisted repeated calls for a public judicial inquiry into all aspects of his killing, including the allegations of collusion and cover-up. Calls for an inquiry have come from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, international and domestic NGOs, the Finucane family, the House of Representatives of the US Congress, the Irish government, and over two thousand national and international lawyers. Despite the ongoing police investigation into Patrick Finucane's killing -- which to date has not resulted in successful prosecutions against any of those involved -- we continue to urge the UK government to establish immediately such an inquiry because we believe that it is the only mechanism which could provide an effective and public investigation into the serious allegations in this case.

William Stobie, a key witness in connection with the case, was murdered in December 2001, and other key witnesses are in fear for their lives. Vital evidence has already disappeared. We are particularly concerned that the longer the government deliberately delays, the greater the risk that the future public inquiry will be hampered.

Amnesty International

British Irish Rights Watch

Committee on the Administration of Justice

Human Rights Watch

International Commission of Jurists

International Federation for Human Rights

Irish Council for Civil Liberties

Lawyers Committee for Human Rights


Pat Finucane Centre

Relatives for Justice

Scottish Human Rights Centre