Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Cold blooded killings

Conor McMorrow:

The sister of murdered Tyrone man Aidan McAnespie has condemned Friday’s execution of an innocent Brazilian man in London as part of a police shoot-to-kill policy.

Aidan McAnespie was shot dead in 1988 as he walked through a British army checkpoint on his way to play Gaelic football in Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone.

Speaking to Daily Ireland last night, Mr McAnespie’s sister Eilish McCabe said Friday’s shooting dead of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell underground station had brought back horrific memories of her 24-year-old brother’s murder.

“I think that what happened in London just shows what a shoot-to-kill policy is all about.

“It’s very hard for us to see this happening in London because it brings back bad memories of Aidan being shot. A policy like this only incites fear into people,” she said.

Eyewitnesses to last Friday’s shooting said armed police officers in civilian clothes had shot Mr de Menezes five times after he tripped and was pushed to the floor of a train.

Witness Mark Whitby said that the Brazilian man had looked “like a cornered rabbit” and “absolutely petrified” before he was shot dead.

Ian Blair, the commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police, yesterday admitted that armed officers were following a shoot-to-kill policy when tackling suicide bombers in Britain. He apologised to the family of Mr de Menezes for him being mistakenly shot dead.

Aidan McAnespie was also shot while going about his everyday life. He was shot by a Grenadier Guardsman as he innocently walked through a Border checkpoint in Aughnacloy on February 21, 1988, on his way to the local GAA pitch.

Speaking about Friday’s shooting and the subsequent police apology, Mrs McCabe added:

“I’m sure that the man’s family will not be shown the full facts surrounding his death and the police won’t be fully accountable.

“An apology is not much good for the family when that man had five shots fired into his body while he was lying on the ground.

“While that man’s family got an apology straight after the event, we got no inquest into Aidan’s death for five years.

“When the inquest did happen, the soldiers involved were absent on leave so that was very hard for us to take.”

Mrs McCabe also drew parallels between Friday’s shooting and the SAS shooting of Mairéad Farrell, Daniel McCann and Seán Savage in Gibraltar in March 1988.

“It seems to me that the shooting dead of that man in London on Friday was very similar to the killing of the Gibraltar Three,” she added.

Mrs McCabe joins a growing list of people, including human-rights activists and politicians, to have reacted with fury to the use of a shoot-to-kill policy in London.

Irish History: The killing of Aidan McAnespie

In the Name of Safety…Or How the London Police Executed Jean Charles de Menezes

Brazilians protest shooting death in victim's hometown

Editorial: No Warnings Given By UK Police


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