Official documents on the Hillsborough tragedy in which 96 football fans died at an FA Cup semifinal more than 20 years ago will be made public, the British government said Monday.
Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman Steve Field said Monday that it has given all government papers related to the 1989 disaster to the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which is looking again at the incident. The panel will release them to families of the dead and make them publicly available.
An inquest jury ruled in 1991 that the deaths at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium were accidental, but South Yorkshire Police were strongly criticized for their actions. Officers herded around 2,000 Liverpool fans into caged-in enclosures that were already full, resulting in many being crushed and suffocating.
Following an impassioned debate triggered by an online petition signed by 140,000 people, British lawmakers backed a largely symbolic motion calling for full disclosure.
Opposition Labour party lawmaker Steve Rotheram read the names of the 96 victims aloud as his colleagues sat in silence.
Rotheram urged Cameron to apologize to those affected by the tragedy and the mistakes that were made in establishing what went wrong.
”This issue will never just go away – not until there is justice for the 96,” he said.
Home Secretary Theresa May pledged to do everything in her power ”to ensure the families and the public get the truth.”
She said there may be some redactions, but stressed that any decision to remove details would be a matter for the panel.
”No Government papers will be withheld from the panel, no attempts to suppress publication will be made, no stone left unturned,” she told lawmakers.