Secret files: 'Astonishment' at Soviet Union's concern for jailed Provo killers' human rights


:thumbsup: :slight_smile:

Foreign Secretary Sir Geoffrey Howe was “astonished” after being personally handed a list of eight men that Moscow had taken an interest in.

They included John Anthony McCooey, convicted in connection with the Tullyvallen Orange Hall massacre in 1975.

Soviet foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze, apparently referring to Northern Ireland’s Diplock courts, said he could not understand how people could be imprisoned without trial by jury.

Another memo states this was the first time Mr Shevardnadze had taken an interest in Northern Ireland affairs.

“The Soviet Government had received representations about many who were serving terms under sentences which they believed were illegal and contrary to their rights,” it continues.

“The Soviet Union did not understand how trials could be held without juries.”*


The regime - one of the world’s worst abusers of human rights - requested information on a series of “political prisoners”.


So if the Soviet Union abused human rights the UK abusing them was not so bad hey? :wink:


Oh dear, just a quote from the article.


Indeed, so that is why I am seeking clarification as to your views. I presume you view the use of courts without a jury to be something you would find morally repugnant just as you would find some of the abuses of power the occurred in the Soviet union equally repugnant?

I presume you naturally are also aware of what a Diplock court is and the background to them?


Since the UK was certainly a political rival to the USSR; this article can be seen that the USSR were possibly and in my opinion, probably playing politics given what is generally regarded as terrible prison conditions in the USSR and some other nations of the Communist bloc.


Whilst I agree prison conditions were far from fun in the USSR I take it you are then not familiar with the Diplock system?


Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the article, I just didn’t have any comment other than that it I like it.

I knew immediately though that anything having to do with Russia would automatically evoke certain responses.

Ivan Pavlov would be proud, who, co-in-cide-ntly, just happens to have been Russian.:slight_smile:


Woof :):):slight_smile:


As to what Diplock courts are:-


I indeed said that I think this was a political move as it appears to be hypocritical if the USSR was so concerned with human rights.

Yes or no?


So one sees USSR as meaning Russian? That is an interesting take, I thought it was made up of 15 separate Republics.

Forums are for discussion, saying “certain responses” sounds rather condescending.


The regime - one of the world’s worst abusers of human rights - requested information on a series of “political prisoners”.

:thumbsup: :slight_smile:

After all, perhaps one wished to point out this part was not stated in the original post.


Ah the old wife beater style line of questioning… :wink:


Woof :slight_smile:

Diplock courts are an ongoing issue in the UK, many people think the ended with the fading away of the Troubles but they are still used and have not totally ceased to operate. They effectively cut around an individuals rights to a fair trial. The north of Ireland has a number of such procedures that were no better than the worst abuses of the Soviet Union in it’s history such as internment and chucking people into prison ships in frankly awful conditions at times. Of course because the UK is considered a first world power and ally of the USA less emphasis was placed on these events as they would have proved to be ones that would not look to good if dragged out into the light. Nor would the record of the Crown Forces in the north with regards to involvement in torture and collusion with terrorist groups so great effort is made to keep this stuff on the ‘downlow’ as Americans say or when it is mentioned to do it in a roundabout ways and mix it in with other topics. Take this news article as an example of that.


And the Republic of Ireland also uses something similar to the Diplock Courts. As Pepipop will tell you they have attracted quite a lot criticism as well.


Fixed for accuracy.

Of course, if you want to avoid the trial entirely there’s always the ever popular “sadly died of a cereberal hemorrhage (of the 9x18mm kind) during interrogation before they could admit to their crimes”,


As used by numerous states over the years in the pursuit of ‘justice’. Alternative methods of justice involve setting up islands that cut around nation’s constitutions and chucking people into prison there and torturing them there. All are morally repugnant.


Yes unfortunately.

I recall Jharek, you mentioning a while back that Russia was the first country to recognise the independence of Ireland, internationally.

So when Russia take over the world - mmmmmwwwwhahahahahaha - we’ll be all right Jack. :thumbsup:



Well we did fall out of favour with the USSR later as they refused to recognise our membership of the UN for years due to our neutrality in WW2. Stalin attempted to block Irish membership by us numerous times as he viewed Ireland as essentially a puppet state of England by all reports. Mind you of course most Russians are not aware of that any more than they are of Russia been the first nation to recognise Irish independence. They are bits of historical trivia. Just like the move at one point to try and get Ireland to become an US state.

It would appear from the amount of coverage everything Russian gets on the BBC of late though that soon the dreaded cyber Russians in their spaceships of doom will soon indeed conquer the world in Cold War II:The Empire Strikes Back starring in no particular order;-

Darth Trump and his deadly hair
Emperor Putin and his trained pet bears of doom
Jar-Jar Obama (to be removed in the sequels apparently due to viewers not taking to him)
Princess Clinton
David ‘I’m not interesting enough to be compared to a Star Wars character’ Cameron

The Diplock Courts were supposedly introduced for a variety of reasons as was the Irish equivalent but they have as usual left yet another bitter memory in the great ongoing relations between Ireland and Britain. However every time the Irish govt. has a go at the British about them as they have done over the years I do start thinking they should dismantle our own equivalent first.

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