Labour tables amendment to Troubles legacy Bill to prevent 'amnesty for rapists'

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The controversial Bill would offer immunity from prosecution for Troubles-era offences.

The Labour party will table an amendment to the Troubles legacy Bill on Thursday to prevent what the party describes as an "amnesty for rapists" from being implemented.The controversial Bill would offer immunity from prosecution for Troubles-era offences for anyone who co-operates with a new "information-recovery" body.Labour claim that the current wording of the Bill "does not prevent anyone who has committed or covered up acts of sexual violence as part of the conflict from seeking immunity." The party say that any immunity schemes usually have a list of offences excluded from the offer including rape and torture.

The Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill is part of the UK government's policy for dealing with the past in Northern Ireland. It aims to prevent the majority of criminal investigations into the Troubles-era past, as the government believes these do not aid reconciliation and peace in Northern Ireland, nor achieve justice. However critics of the Bill see it as preventing victims from seeking justice for loved ones killed in the conflict.Labour believe that the current Bill has a loophole that would allow those who committed serious sexual offences from being held accountable. Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Kyle MP said that it was "shocking" that such a loophole existed, and that his party wanted to "ensure the law doesn't hinder justice for victims of sexual offences."

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