On request from a group of human rights representatives from Chaco, Argentina, Falkland Islands lawmakers met and listened to their views on a number of issues resulting from the 1982 war. The meeting followed a formal request from the group directly to the Falklands elected Legislative Assembly.
'The meeting, which took place in the Liberation Room at the Secretariat in Stanley, followed a formal request from the group that was made directly to the Falklands elected Legislative Asembly.'
The Argentine delegation included three regional politicians with specific responsibilities for human rights in the Chaco province along with the Chairman and Secretary of the human rights group. The Falklands were represented by MLA Dick Sawle and MLA Mike Summers.
The official release from Gilbert House stated that:
The Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly recently agreed that two of its members should meet with five representatives of a human rights group from Chaco, Argentina in order to listen to their views on a number of issues resulting from the 1982 war.
MLAs Dick Sawle and Mike Summers attended the meeting following a request from the group made directly to the Falkland Islands Legislative Assembly. Three regional Argentine politicians with specific responsibilities for human rights in the Chaco region attended the meeting, along with the Chairman and Secretary of the human rights group.
Following the meeting, MLA Sawle said: “The Falkland Islands are a modern democracy, and we uphold fundamental values such as freedom of speech and human rights. On humanitarian grounds, it was only right that we should listen to the views of this group who are actively involved in investigating the cases of abuse of many Argentine veterans who suffered greatly at the hands of their own officers during the invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982. However, whilst we may listen to their views on a variety of issues, on the specific issue of DNA testing we have made it very clear that we can only consider any practical action if and when we receive a request from the International Red Cross which must have the full and unequivocal support of the Families Commission in Argentina.”
MLA Mike Summers said: “It is notable that an Argentine group such as this recognise the legitimate and democratically elected Government of the Falkland Islands, and should request this meeting. We made it clear to the group that all peoples, including Falkland Islanders, have human rights, and that the current approach of the Argentine Government is unhelpful in achieving any co-operation. The wishes of families are important, but the political context will be a determining factor.”