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UK government signs Hillsborough Charter, acknowledges ‘multiple injustices’ suffered by soccer stadium disaster victims

By Sammy Mncwabe, CNN

(CNN) — The UK government has signed the Hillsborough Charter, acknowledging “multiple injustices” and vowing that no families will suffer the same fates as the relatives of the victims from the infamous soccer ground tragedy.

Ninety-seven Liverpool supporters died as a result of the April 1989 disaster at Hillsborough stadium in Sheffield, England.

“The Charter, which the Government has signed, seeks to ensure that the lessons of the Hillsborough disaster and its aftermath are learned, to prevent those who are affected by public tragedy in the future from having the same experience,” UK Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said in a statement on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons: “The Hillsborough families have suffered multiple injustices and, more than 34 years later, there can never be too many apologies for what they have been through.

“And I want to repeat that apology today, and thank the Hillsborough families for their tenacity, patience and courage.”

The government was responding to a 2017 report, published by former Liverpool Bishop James Jones, which consulted the families on lessons from the stadium disaster and made 25 recommendations which could help shape the response to future disasters.

Among those recommendations was a call for the creation of a special charter that would see public bodies act transparently and in the public interest.

The government’s charter also promises to implement a “duty of candour” for policing in England and Wales, which aims to promote a culture of honesty and transparency during investigations and inquiries.

In January, England and Wales police chiefs apologized for having “profoundly failed” those bereaved by the stadium disaster and promised “widespread” policing reforms.

On top of the 97 people killed as a result of the disaster, another 162 were hospitalized with injuries. According to the BBC, it was the worst sports disaster in British history.

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