Irish Republican News · July 10, 2009
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Colin Duffy attacked at Maghaberry
Colin Duffy attacked at Maghaberry
colinduffy.jpg

Prominent republican Colin Duffy was attacked by prison warders at Maghaberry Prison earlier this week, according to his family.

The incident took place as he was being escorted back to the remand wing after he had taken part in a video link remand hearing. He is being held in connection with a ‘Real IRA’ gun attack on Massareene British Army base in County Antrim in March.

His family have said he sustained extensive injuries and bruising from blows to the head, face and upper body.

According to Danny McBrearty, National Chairperson, Republican Network for Unity, it was during strip-search procedures,

“The two officers assaulted Mr Duffy before then calling for the prison riot squad, who then appeared at the search point dressed in full ‘Robo cop’ riot equipment and joined in upon the attack,” he said.

He said the two prison officers, not previously used to escort Mr Duffy, deliberately used the regular video-linked remand hearing to orchestrate the attack upon him.

“Both were making very insulting, provocative remarks to him beforehand and then used the excuse of the search procedures to carry out an unprovoked assault.”

He pointed out that other republican prisoners in Maghaberry have reported assaults in recent weeks and months.

Mr McBrearty said it was part of an emerging trend “reminiscent of the conduct of prison officers in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh during the late 70’s and into the 1980s.

“Such acts must be deplored and I call upon the policing and justice spokespersons of the parties in Stormont... to publicly state their position of the brutalisation of Colin Duffy and any other prisoners victimised by such actions.”

Meanwhile, a prisoner at Maghaberry Jail this week failed in a court bid to require warders at the jail to wear identification.

Lifer Dennis Hayes said that during a cell search his belongings were upended and he was abused. Warders forced him to strip, took his radio, ripped down a poster, made threats and used sectarian insults.

In a written statement to the High Court in Belfast, Hayes said he had wanted to complain about the incident in November 2007 but had been unable to do so because none of the warders wore identifying marks.

The court threw out the case after it accepted the authorities’ claim that it had agreed in principle to introduce markings in the future.

CAMPBELL QUAGMIRE

A judge in Belfast has ruled that Liam Campbell, whose car was dramatically rammed by the PSNI last month, should now face extradition to Lithuania from the North rather than the 26 Counties.

Extradition proceedings were already under way in Dublin when the Dundalk man crossed the border near his home town. He was arrested as he was making his way back over the border.

Mr Campbell is wanted in Lithuania in connection with an alleged plot to acquire and ship arms from the eastern Europe state to the republican armed struggle in Ireland.

Belfast Recorder Tom Burgess set a legal precedent on Tuesday when he ruled that Campbell should face fresh extradition proceedings in the North, rather than be returned to the 26 Counties, where they were already well advanced.

Mr Campbell’s legal team are considering challenge to the ruling. They have pointed out that his arrest in the North prevented him from fulfilling his bail conditions in his native 26 Counties, where he had already responded to the European arrest warrant.

CHILD TRAUMA

Derry republican Gary Donnelly intends reporting the PSNI to the North’s children’s commissioner after frequent raids by the Crown police force have left his young daughter traumatised.

Mr Donnelly, a member of the 32-County Sovereignty Movement, said his seven-year-old daughter was frequently upset when the PSNI stopped and searched him around the city.

“It’s happened three times and she’s now even able to say to me: ‘That’s a section 44’,” Mr Donnelly said.

Section 44 of the controversial Terrorism Act 2000 gives the PSNI the power to stop and search anyone in a particular area.

Mr Donnelly said he had passed the matter to his lawyer and had instructed the lawyer to report the issue to the children’s commissioner.

© 2009 Irish Republican News