After the modern states have emerged with Westphalia (1648), the world politics has never be the same. Undoubtedly, the crucial dimensions of that period have led to wide range of terrorist groups and organizations. Since then, governments have been trying to take so many precautions in order to prevent the negative results of terrorism. However, is it possible to prevent terrorist attacks without hurting civilians?
It has been a controversial debate between human rights and state terrorism so far. As for civilians, facing a lot of damages by terrorist attacks causes an irrational fear in society in the long term and, governments, on the other hand, try to protect civilians from the unavoidable results of the ‘collateral damage’. In those times, governments may intervene civil rights more than normal times and this may cause great crises in society.
In Northern Ireland, The Bogside Massacre, – known as Bloody Sunday– has been one of the most classical incident of state terrorism, in which 26 unarmed ordinary people protesting their opposition to state injustice and mass murders on streets were shot by the British Army. Thirteen males, seven of whom were teenagers, died immediately or soon after, while the death of another man four-and-a-half months later was attributed to the injuries he received on that day. After investigations held by British government, the city’s coroner, retired British Army Major Hubert O’Neill, made a statement on 21 August 1973, at the completion of the inquest into the people killed. He declared:
‘’This Sunday became known as Bloody Sunday and bloody it was. It was quite unnecessary. It strikes me that the Army ran amok that day and shot without thinking what they were doing. They were shooting innocent people. These people may have been taking part in a march that was banned but that does not justify the troops coming in and firing live rounds indiscriminately. I would say without hesitation that it was sheer, unadulterated murder. It was murder.’’
The 41-year period since 30 Jan 1972, has been a major commemorative for universal concerns about how best to secure open-ended democratic transformation. Essentially, the 41st Anniversary allows all people to learning, debating, lobbying and challenging the powerful.