Jailed political dissident Marian Price was moved to an outside hospital last weekend without her consent, her family have said.
Doctors from the United Nations were due to visit the interned west Belfast woman in Hydebank Wood prison on Monday.
However, last Friday warders moved the former hunger-striker to a Belfast psychiatric care unit for treatment ahead of the visit.
Prison authorties said they had done so on medical advice from psychiatrists.
Earlier this year, Ms Price was moved from an isolation cell at all-male Maghaberry Prison to Hydebank, also on medical advice.
Her husband Jerry McGlinchey said that a prison doctor had already given evidence that “going to a secure hospital unit would compound Marian’s acute illnesses and would mitigate against any beneficial treatment.”
Supporters and prominent human rights activist Bernadette Aliskey said the chief medical officer had overridden this evidence before the UN visit on Monday. She said that “to transfer her to the psychiatric hospital without her informed consent added another dimension to the violation of her rights.”
Her family welcomed the intervention of the UN doctors who will visit Marian over the coming days. Her husband said he hoped they would make a speedy report on her condition given the urgency of the situation.
“The family hope that this move to a secure unit is not a cynical ploy on the eve of a visit by UN doctors to stymie any criticism of Marian’s treatment.”
Although gaining a royal pardon in 1980, British Direct Ruler Owen Paterson ordered the former prisoners’ welfare campaigner be returned to jail two years ago as he considered her to be a “threat”. It was later claimed by the British her pardon document had been lost, or accidentally shredded.
Lawyer Peter Corrigan of Kevin Winters law firm, who represent Ms Price, protested that his client had been moved without her consent and against medical advice.
“While the aim is to receive proper medical care for our client all the doctors who have examined her to date have agreed that any treatment under a high security situation would be counter therapeutic,” he said.