Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Civil Rights Key to Peace in Northern Ireland

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Civil Rights Key to Peace in Northern Ireland

Article excerpt

I commend the Monitor for the attention it has given to the conflict in Northern Ireland - a tragedy too often ignored by the American media. The editorial "Hope and Fear in Ulster," Nov. 3, rightly calls for a renewed commitment for a negotiated peace. However, no solution will succeed unless civil rights are vigorously applied to all the citizens of Northern Ireland.

To date, the British government has demonstrated little regard for the civil rights of Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland. Indeed, Britain has been repeatedly criticized by Amnesty International, the European Parliament, and the Helsinki Watch for human rights violations in Northern Ireland. The imprisonment of the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six are only the most notorious examples.

In addition to the endemic discrimination against Catholics in Northern Ireland in employment, housing, and social services, there is a growing body of evidence that alleges police and army collusion with Protestant terrorist groups to target Catholics for assassination.

One hopes the peace talks are set in motion as quickly as possible. But, until there is impartial justice and civil rights for all, I fear there will be no hope of peace in this war-torn corner of the world. Terry Jennings, New York Gun control and crime control

The editorial "A Cry from the Capital," Oct. 25, notes that Washington, D.C., has more murders per capita and more police per capita than any other United States city. There is no mention of the fact the Washington, D.C., also has the most restrictive gun laws. When people promote more restrictive national gun laws to reduce crime, they should look at past experiments in this area. Frank Bergren, Anchorage, Alaska Gun control and crime control

The headline of the editorial "Progressive Gun Control," Nov. 5, unintentionally states the very reason why gun owners oppose legislation aimed at legitimate gun owners. Ours is an incremental society. Progressive gun control is just what I fear. …

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