Unfortunately the Government has refused to release more than 700 files relating to the Guildford Four case, BBC news has reported on the 5th of December. It is sad that people, who are still fighting 27 years after the Guildford Four were released, are denied possibly crucial documents for securing a more just and fair future.
Even though confession is probably the only type evidence that could convict the real bombers after all these years and releasing all documents would reduce the validity of confessions, keeping these files from the public just because someone may or may not confess means ignoring possible leads on suspects and mistakes we do not want to repeat.
It is not a secret that confessions from the real bombers are unlikely, considering the amount of time that has passed and the fact that some or all of them may not be alive anymore. Therefore releasing the files would not mean finding responsible parties, but it might give closure to those suffering from loss. The Guildford Four received compensation and an apology, a long overdue one though. The apology and compensation means that the Government acknowledged that a miscarriage of justice occurred; therefore it should also acknowledge that the victims of bombings as well as of the miscarriage of justice still have not seen justice. Are the police going to catch whoever committed these crimes? The same as I said before, it is unlikely. Therefore there is no reason to keep all these files from the public.
Releasing all documents could reduce public trust in the police and the Government for a short time; however that does not mean that the files should stay hidden. People already think that there is something hidden in the files, they just do not know what it is. Once the Government comes clean and promotes transparency, it can start applying new policies that could help avoiding many mistakes in the future. Similarly as when an alcoholic wants to stop drinking, the first step towards improvements is to acknowledge that alcohol is the problem. At the end of the day, the Government works for the public and, if the public dislikes some of its policies, then these policies should be changed. When these changes are applied, people should be able to see how the new policies would have stopped miscarriages of justice like Guildford Four from happening.
We cannot improve the system if we do not know what needs improving, and, in order to find that out, we need to know what exactly hides in those files!
Thank you for reading!
BBC news article about the decision can be found here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-38210099