Around 200 military veterans and supporters are expected to march on Stormont next month to protest against “vindictive” criminal investigations involving former soldiers.Justice for Veterans UK has notified the Parades Commission of the parade from Dundonald to Parliament Buildings on Saturday, April 2.
The group claims there is a “biased approach” being taken by law enforcement agencies when dealing with alleged criminal acts involving military personnel who were on duty at the time of the controversial incidents.
It also claims that in Northern Ireland the bias extends beyond the regular military to the actions of both the Special Forces and Royal Ulster Constabulary during the Troubles.
The British Government has set aside millions of pounds to pursue investigations into alleged criminal acts – including war crimes in Iraq – which has angered veterans across the UK.
In relation to the Northern Ireland conflict, a number of former paratroopers involved in the shooting dead of 13 civilians in 1972 on what became known as Bloody Sunday will be interviewed under caution later this month by the PSNI.
The murder inquiry interviews will take place in Great Britain after lawyers for the former soldiers won a judicial review – arguing it would be illegal to arrest them at their homes without notice and place them in custody in Northern Ireland.
A number of other cases relating to the deaths of civilians in the Province are also ongoing.
The protest march next month will set off at 11am from the Dunlady Road park and ride in Dundonald, before making its way along the Upper Newtownards Road and through the gates of the Stormont estate.