Representing Victims of Terrorism in South Armagh
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Families’ Acting for Innocent Relatives (FAIR) was formed in 1998 as a support group for the victims of terrorist violence in the highly deprived area of South Armagh, Northern Ireland. The group acts as a Voice for victims and provides a range of practical support programs to help them as they rebuild their lives. It has become one of the largest groups in Europe with over 2000 members and a world leader in victim support.

As the work develops FAIR is keen to pioneer the concept of an International Victims of Terrorism Solidarity Movement which would provide advocacy, legal assistance, welfare and support as well as a media presence for victims. We feel that victims possess a strong moral mandate that when allied to the democratic mandate of governments and political institutions will provide an irresistible force against terrorism. Victims and survivors of terrorism are best placed to challenge those who use violence, we are presently doing that legally with a landmark Civil Action against the State of Libya for its support of international terrorism most notably the PIRA.

Such new initiatives have been termed LAWFARE – the thinking man’s war on terror and offer an alternative to the costly counterproductive strategies used in Iraq. The FAIR group have recently been supported directly by the European Commission and in particular the Directorate ‘Internal Security and Criminal Justice of the Directorate General ‘Justice, Freedom and Security’. They have provided funding to support a pilot project the first of its kind in the United Kingdom.

Our aim at FAIR is to engage in a large networking system with other genuine victims groups, from London, Lockerbie, France, Spain, Columbia, USA, and Israel amongst others. Being able to reach out to other groups is a primary objective of the project and a media profile is a vital first step. At a time when terrorism is an almost daily headline the media often find it difficult to source experts in terrorism or counter-terrorism or those who have a personal perspective of it. As a group we have many victims of terrorism and our staff covers a range of academic and practical disciplines that would provide valuable insights or interviews for those covering such stories.

As an organisation we generate weekly press bulletins on various aspects of terrorism, and victims issues which range from critique and commentary on the Peace process in Northern Ireland and its lessons for other areas through to International Counter-terrorism and terrorist trends. We have access to a range of professional advisors from a security, socio-economic, legal and political background.

If you are interested in our work or the insight we may be able to provide to your coverage of such events you may contact our press office and speak with either our Director William Frazer or the Head of Research and Policy William Wilkinson.


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