[Text on screen]: A family has used the Human Rights Act to force a fresh investigation into the death of a soldier which happened over 20 years ago.

The High Court has just ruled that there must be a new inquest into the death of Private Sean Benton, who was 20 when he died in 1995.
He was found in Deepcut Barracks with five bullet wounds to his chest.

Private Benton’s sister told Liberty “For two decades, our family has been tormented by questions about what Sean went through at Deepcut… We look forward to finally discovering the truth”.

This is the second time that a fresh inquest has been ordered over a death at Deepcut Barracks.

Four young soldiers died in the same period. Now, finally, proper investigations are being held.

The Human Rights Act protects our basic rights to live a free and dignified life.

One of those rights is Article 2, the right to life.

The right to life is important because gives families of people who have died in the care of the state the right to a proper investigation.

That investigation must be thorough enough to expose failings in the system, to make sure they don’t happen again.

In June, a fresh ‘right to life’ inquest was held into another Deepcut death, of Private Cheryl James. She was 18 when she died of a bullet wound to her head.

The inquest found that she killed herself but that the Army had not cared for her properly.

Now, over 20 years after his death, Private Benton’s family may finally find out the truth about his death.

The right to life is important because it means we have a right to find out why a death happened and how it could have been prevented.

That’s why it was the Human Rights Act which prompted fresh inquests into the Hillsborough disaster

Thanks to the Human Rights Act, the family of Private Benton should finally get the answers they deserve. Even if it’s more than 20 years too late.
Institutions, Justice

How the Human Rights Act helped a soldier’s family

Published on 29 Nov 2019

Soldier’s rights are human rights too.

The family of Private Sean Benton has been searching for answers into his death for more than 20 years. Now, thanks to a fresh inquiry and utilising the Human Rights Act for justice, his family may finally find the answers they’ve been looking for all this time, and bring justice to their son.

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