Law and Order: Ulster policing under fire from human rights group

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The Independent Online
An end to the emergency regime in Northern Ireland is called for today by Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, the international human rights group, in a detailed report.

The report highlights four areas of policing that raise "urgent human rights concern" - the wide powers enjoyed by the Royal Ulster Constabulary, the policing of last summer's marching season, the dramatic rise in paramilitary punishment assaults and persistent allegations of collusion between members of the security forces and loyalist paramilitary groups. The report says that police concentration on the suppression of political violence has led to the exclusion of traditional police functions in some areas, leading paramilitary organisations to assume a quasi-policing role.

To Serve Without Favor; Policing, Human Rights and Accountability; available from Publications Department, Human Rights Watch, 485 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY10017; $22.50