The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Further Serious Abuses of Republican POWs

Martin Mulholland, IRPWA • 13 May 2004

Today in Maghaberry gaol, prison officers and the Northern Ireland Prison Service were involved in their very own form of abusing POW's. The abuse started when the prison officers refused to unlock the men this morning. The men were also denied breakfast and lunch and were kept in their cells until well into the afternoon. At this stage the men were unlocked for recreation.

While the men were in the recreation area, a heavily protected search team was sent onto the wing and proceeded to verbally abuse the POW's. The men were instructed by their Officer Commanding to co-operate with the searches as it was felt that the Search team on duty were engaged in an effort to antagonise the men and provoke some sort of confrontation. A number of cells were wrecked by the search team and covered in dirt and dog hairs. Many of the republicans were subjected to inhuman and degrading strip searches with one POW describing the search as a form of rape and definite sexual assault.

This prisoner intends to contact the rape crisis centre in Belfast for counselling so extreme was his strip search. Immediately prior to searching this man, three members of the search team insulted him and offered to fight him saying that he thought he was a "hard man" and that they would show him how "hard he really was".

All the prisoners had their Human Right violated today by the prison service with even the basic rights to association and food being denied for a long period of the day. On a day when Hugh Orde has labelled sectarianism as a hate crime the IRPWA fully expect him to take action against the NIPS for the sustained tirade of sectarian abuse that the prisoners have had to endure. In one instance when a prisoner returned to the recreation area a prison officer had spelt out REPUBLICAN SCUM on the scrabble board. This area is covered by 3 surveillance cameras; it will not surprise any republican if the tapes suddenly disappear.

This bully boy attitude of the prison officers toward the republican prisoners is a constant feature of prison life for POW's in Maghaberry Gaol but the criminal behaviour of the prison officers involved in sexual assault and hate crime today is an escalation in this policy. Republicans will not tolerate the brutalisation of our prisoners or their families and we call on human rights agencies and political parties to ensure that they are not as quiet in the future as the have been in the past.

We also ask the Irish Government to take the British to task over their treatment of Irish Citizens. The British authorities in Ireland are expecting to get away with the same behaviour as they and their allies get away with in Iraq, we must all ensure that this doesn't happen.

 


 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



 

 

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Index: Current Articles



13 May 2004

 

Other Articles From This Issue:

 

The 1934 Republican Congress: Broad Front or Narrow Retreat?
Seaghán Ó Murchú

 

Better an Honest Socialist than a Lying Republican
Dolours Price

 

The Angrytown News presents: SinnAid
A Community Response

Jimmy Sands

 

No Minimum Wage Here
Anthony McIntyre

 

Further Serious Abuses of Republican POWS
Martin Mulholland, IRPWA

 

Free Tibet?
Liam O Ruairc

 

Thoughts on the November Elections
Chrissie McGlinchey

 

The Letters page has been updated.

 

10 May 2004

 

War Crimes
Anthony McIntyre

 

Address given by IRSP Ard Comhairle Terry Harkin to Fringe Meeting of the Scottish Socialist Party
Terry Harkin

 

A Guiding Light Falls on Ramallah
Sam Bahour

 

An Occupation That Creates Children Willing To Die
Leah Tsemel

 

Dave Hann,
co-author "No Retreat"
Connolly Books

AFA Ireland

 

 

 

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