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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 June 2007, 08:45 GMT 09:45 UK
Remove records of prisoners: SF
martina anderson
Martina Anderson said prisoners' records should be removed
A former IRA prisioner, and Sinn Fein Policing Board member, has called for the criminal records of former paramilitary prisoners to be removed.

Martina Anderson was convicted of conspiracy to cause explosions in England in 1986.

In a letter in the Irish News she said her party will be pushing the British and Irish governments on the issue.

However, the DUP's Gregory Campbell said that former paramilitaries should be providing restitution to victims.

"That might be a tangible example of the fact that they have turned their backs on their campaigns," Mr Campbell said.

"Rather than saying 'we were involved in a dirty war in which everyone got hurt and now is the time to expunge our records and try and make people believe that none of this never really happened'."

Last month, the government published new guidelines saying that paramilitary convictions should not be a hindrance when it comes to getting a job in Northern Ireland.

The government gave a commitment to work with businesses, trade unions and ex-prisoner groups during the St Andrews talks in October 2006.

The guidelines state that any offence committed before the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 should not be taken into account unless it's materially relevant to the employment being sought.

Sinn Fein's Mrs Anderson said former prisoners had an important role to play in society.

"We had a political situation which produced political prisoners," she said.

"We have a valuable contribution to make, which complements, I think, in a lot of ways the political dispensation."






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