A republican prisoner has accused the British government of denying him his human rights.

Tommy Hamill was arrested before Christmas and charged with weapons offences.

The dissident republican is being held on remand at Maghaberry prison in County Antrim.

Mr Hamill’s home in County Tyrone was wrecked just before Christmas by the PSNI police. The front and back doors were completely destroyed, stud walls were ripped out and furniture broken and overturned.

Mr Hamill was arrested and taken for interrogation to Antrim where he was charged with possession of a number of firearms, ammunition and explosives. These weapons had been found almost a year ago in a field in Dungannon. The PSNI have claimed these same items were found in Hamill’s house and had his fingerprints on it.

During the Christmas period, relatives of Mr Hamill travelled to the jail to visit him but were turned away after being examined by sniffer dogs.

Mr Hamill has still not been visited by his family. He has denied the charges against him but has been refused bail. A spokesman accused the British government of denying Mr Hamill his basic human rights.

“Tommy was refused bail and it is obviously the intention of the Crown to make his remand a long one.

“Some Irish republicans were held on remand for nearly three years before their cases fell apart at trial.

“These tactics are a form of internment. The prisoner is shipped off to Maghaberry prisoner-of-war camp, where conditions are poor.

“There are no education facilities, no freedom of association, and rigourous security measures make life in Maghaberry a miserable one,” the spokesman said.

“Tommy Hamill is an Irish Republican. He is now a political prisoner and is denied his basic rights as was Bobby Sands.”

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© 2006 Irish Republican News