Campaigners for justice in the spycop inquiry hammered home the international damage being done to human rights by undercover police officers at an EU Parliament hearing today, as members of disgraced British unit the National Public Order Intelligence Unit operated across the zone.
Speaking at the Accountability for state agent Protection Against Police Infiltration conference in Brussels, spycop victims’ solicitor Darragh Mackey (pictured) argued the government’s increasingly discredited official inquiry was failing to cover key issues, particularly in Northern Ireland:
It’s imperative that this inquiry be extended to Northern Ireland. It’s an unacceptable position that the likes of Mark Kennedy can be tracked to the border and then the investigation stops.
Clearly [the inquiry] is contrary to very basic principles of conducting a transparent investigation. This is an EU issue where it’s established whether these people crossed into other EU states, and the right to privacy was breached.
The inquiry, which has gotten bogged down amid accusations that new chief John Mitting is increasingly sitting on the names of police officers who were involved in the invasive surveillance of peaceful activist groups, currently covers only England and Wales.
There have been a number of challenges to the decision to limit the inquiry’s remit in that way, particularly in Northern Ireland and Scotland where spycops, some of whom are known to have manipulated women activists into relationships, formerly operated. It was revealed just last month that at least one spycop infiltrated the Troops Out solidarity movement in the 1970s.
Mr Mackey later challenged EU states themselves to bypass the limitations of Mitting’s team by opening their own investigations. He said: “There’s nothing to prevent any member state opening its own investigation to bring justice for victims in their own countries.”