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23 November 2000 Edition

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RUC brand human rights training ``a waste of time''

Human rights training involving RUC Special Branch officers has been exposed as a farce after it was revealed that people suing the RUC were referred to as ``toe rags'' and old people were described as ``custard dribbling old fools''.

The comments were included in a Six-County Human Rights Commission assessment of an RUC training programme on the 1998 Human Rights Act.

The revelations came after Labour MP Kevin McNamara asked a parliamentary question and received a copy of the report.

``The RUC training is not proceeding in the spirit of Patten,'' said McNamara.

During the training carried out by a higher education institution one senior RUC officer criticised human rights activists saying some people involved in human rights ``get the subject a bad name''.

Sinn Féin councillor Sean Hayes told An Phoblacht: ``If this is the attitude that the RUC including senior Special Branch Officers bring to human rights, then the future for policing is bleak. It seems that these people are determined to defend the past rather that build for the future.''

 

Gilman questions Clinton on policing



The chairman of the US Congressional Committee on International Relations, Ben Gilman, has this week asked US President Bill Clinton to clarify his position on the British Policing Bill.

In a letter to the President, Gilman wrote:

``Before any FBI or other US law enforcement training will be provided to the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) or its successor, we in the Congress would appreciate knowing what your assessment is of the British government's ultimate implementation of the many excellent proposed policing reforms recommended by the Patten Report of September 9, 1999, as mandated by the terms of the Good Friday Accord.

``The House of Commons in London has now completed work on the policing bill, and there are many of the key reforms that Patten proposed left out of the bill,'' the Congressman wrote. ``We have many vague promises about things being done in an implementation plan down the road. If the Good Friday Accord and the Patten Commission policing reforms which flow from that accord are to have any meaning, we must see real change on the ground and real reform of the police service in Norther Ireland, sooner rather than later.''

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