Common criminals or political law-breakers?

by Liam O Ruairc

‘Support Republican POWs’, ‘Restore Political Status’ are slogans that will be familiar to all those concerned about the plight of the close to one hundred republicans imprisoned today. At the same time there are ongoing attempts to criminalise Republicans still engaged in armed actions against the British state. But what does the category of ‘Prisoner of War’ mean or that of ‘Political Status’ entail? Can they apply to Republican prisoners today? And are there any grounds to label Republican prisoners as ‘criminals’?

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