Irish Republican News · August 30, 2011
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Prison brutality continues

Two republican prisoners at Maghaberry were assaulted by a prison riot squad in full body armour after they refused to submit to a strip search this week.

Kevin Barry Nolan and Gerard McManus were given the usual forced strip search by warders dressed in boiler suits before leaving Maghaberry prison for court.

But on their return, they were met by a riot squad dressed in full riot gear -- and when they failed to strip they were violently attacked.

The warders pushed them on the ground and brutally removed their clothing, twisted their arms up their backs and dragged them around by their beards.

According to prison campaigners, the warders were “raining blows on their bodies” while shouting ‘stop resisting the search’.

When the strip search was over, the two prisoners were ordered to stand up -- and when they failed to do so, the riot squad attacked them again while they were lying on the floor, resulting in cuts and bruises.

A statement on their behalf warned that warders at Maghaberry have “upped the ante” this week.

“Tensions are high on the wing, the riot squad are taunting the lads and blocking them in when they are being escorted to the phone or for visits.

“All the PoWs have remarked that the screws/riot squad have upped the ante lately and are constantly trying to get an excuse to get stuck into a PoW, resulting in a number of PoWs receiving beatings in this last week.”

Separately, the family of a west Belfast man on remand in Maghaberry’s have reported that he was assaulted by prison staff, despite receiving treatment for a broken wrist.

Twinbrook man Anthony Rooney was twice taken to an outside hospital in May after sustaining injuries during clashes between protesting republican prisoners and prison staff.

His daughter Aishlinn Rooney said her father had been again been injured whilebeing forcibly searched by staff.

“He is now bleeding from his ear. His wrists were twisted and bent and this is just weeks after a plaster was taken off his arm,” Ms Rooney said.

Mr Rooney is one of around 30 prisoners on a ‘no wash’ protest over a new attempt to impose a Thatcherite ‘criminalisation’ policy on the republican wing, contrary to an agreement last year.

“My father is in prison but that does not mean he should be beaten and battered and left lying injured in a cell without proper medical treatment,” his daughter said.

“When we contact the prison they refuse to tell us any information on his condition. People need to be aware of what is going on in Maghaberry and how republican prisoners are being treated.”

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© 2011 Irish Republican News