Soldier F supporters take to streets of Belfast

Protesters opposed to the prosecution of a former British serviceman for alleged Troubles offences have gathered outside Belfast City Hall.

Soldier F is to be charged with murdering two people after troops opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in Londonderry in January 1972, on what became known as Bloody Sunday.

Some relatives of the 13 killed have campaigned for their prosecution, while others argue that Soldier F should not face trial.

They claim a form of immunity given to paramilitaries during the Northern Ireland peace process should be extended to British soldiers who served in the country.

Soldier F will face charges for the murders of James Wray and William McKinney and the attempted murders of Joseph Friel, Michael Quinn, Joe Mahon and Patrick O’Donnell.

Ballymurphy shootings
Families of the people who were killed during a disputed series of shootings in the Ballymurphy area (Liam McBurney/PA)

Families of those who died in disputed circumstances involving soldiers in west Belfast, known as the Ballymurphy Massacre group, support prosecutions.

Spokesman John Teggart said: “No one is above the law and justice must be served.

“The fact that these crimes happened nearly 50 years ago is irrelevant. It might have been a long time ago, but the illegal acts of these soldiers is affecting the families to this day.

“They committed murder and what compounded that was the apparatus of the British state then tarnished the names of many of the victims by labelling them as gun men and gun women.

Recently thousands of bikers took to the streets of London in a similar protest against the legal action against Soldier F.

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