Free All Irish Republican Political Prisoners
An important anti-imperialist political rally in London heard from Diarmuid Dubhglais of Republican Sinn Fein.
Diarmuid pointed out that none of the remaining political prisoners would be incarcerated if it were not for the ongoing partition of Ireland, which has continued after the Good Friday agreement.
Diarmuid drew attention to specific cases including:
Martin Corey who served 19 years of a life sentence for taking part in the armed struggle against British occupation. Released in 2002, Martin was re-arrested in April 2010 and told his “license” was revoked. There were no new allegations of any crimes and the decision was made by the British government.
In July 2010 a judge ruled that the lack of evidence made the continued incarceration a breach of Martin’s human rights and ordered his release. As Martin sat awaiting release he was told the British Secretary of State had ordered his continued internment. Now 62, Martin is awaiting a further Supreme Court hearing having spent a further three years in Maghaberry Prison without any additional charges.
Marion Price who is seriously ill and continues to be held as a political prisoner. For refusing to accept the status of a criminal, Marion is held in solitary confinement in Hydebank prison. Undergoing medical treatment Marion is handcuffed to a hospital bed and accompanied by prison guards during treatment.
Marion Price had her license invoked and was returned to prison for an alleged offence at the Derry Easter Rising commemoration in 2011 when she held a piece of paper from which a commemoration was read. Marion was arrested and has been held in solitary confinement. She is suffering from ill health arising from the 167 days force-feeding she endured in 1973/74 whilst campaigning to be imprisoned in Ireland and not England.
Diarmuid drew attention to the plight of Republican POWs who should have been granted political status—as they were after the deaths of Bobby Sands and nine other hunger strikers in 1981. However, following the release of the last Provisional Sinn Fein prisoner, Gerry Adams and the PSF leadership abandoned remaining Republican prisoners.
The Republican POWs demand:
- An end to brutal and degrading strip-searching
- Free association
- An end to controlled movement
- A right to education
At the end of the meeting, which also heard contributions of support from the Frontline Socialist Party of Sri Lanka, The Counihan–Sanchez Housing campaign and the Labor Representation Committee, Michael Holden, Chair of the Irish Republican Prisoners Support Group, stated that the continued brutal treatment and arbitrary arrests by the British government could not occur without the collaboration of Sinn Fein leaders, Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness.
Contact the IRSPG on Facebook
—April 18, 2013