Maghaberry Prison Protest

 At the moment there are currently over 30 Irish political prisoners held in Maghaberry Prison in the north of Ireland, who are refusing to accept the British imposed policy of criminalization. They seek the reinstatement of the right to political status. That right was hard won in 1981, by the sacrifice of ten young Irishmen who died on hunger strike rather that accept British criminalization.

The British government, under the auspices of Stormont Agreement, re-introduced the policy of creeping criminalization to justify their continued occupation of Ireland.  

The protest within the prison has been rapidly escalating and has already included three periods of extended fasts; the last fast was for 72 hours. Unfortunately there is a media blackout preventing the plight of the prisoners from being more widely known and thus preventing their just demands from gaining more support. 

This leaflet has been produced in the hopes that others may become aware of the situation.

The following points are at issue:  

  • The road to prison for Irish republicans is still through the special non jury courts

  • Thirty eight Republican political prisoners currently imprisoned in Maghaberry Prison

  • Constant use of strip searching to humiliate the prisoners, contrary to international law

  • One political prisoner received 31 strip searches and 1,135 rub down searches during a six-month period.

  • Political prisoners are locked in their cells, 21 hours and 23 hours on alternate days on a continuous basis

  • The misuse of sniffer dogs to wrongly terminate family and legal visits.

  • This practice forces families to have non-contact visits

  • The power of the prison warden to punish political prisoners by taking away remission was specifically reintroduced for these political prisoners although it had been banned by The European Court of Human Rights in 2002

  • Access to medical care is available only once a week.

  • Interference with correspondence and mail is a regular occurrence.

  • Irish language and other cultural items including handicrafts have been confiscated or destroyed by prison officers

  • Political prisoners are made to choose education or exercise.

  • Controlled movement is imposed on Republican political prisoners with only three political prisoners permitted out of their cells at any one time, with each political prisoner accompanied by two prison officers

    Become  aware ! Become involved!

     Irish Political Prisoners need your support!

    For additional information contact the

    National Irish Freedom Committee


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