Governors assault prisoners in Maghaberry mayhem
Governors assault prisoners in Maghaberry mayhem


There were clashes at Maghaberry jail this week as prison governors took part in two separate assaults on republican prisoners over a 48 hour period.

The Roe Four landing, where most republican prisoners are held, was invaded by riot police and guard dogs before being placed on “lock down”. Prisoners were forced to seek medical attention following the attack.

Several prisoners were taken to the ‘punishment block’ at the heavily fortified British state prison in County Antrim, where tensions are now at their highest in almost two years.

“The strategic violence inflicted upon Republican POWs was beyond contempt,” according to a statement posted on the website of Republican Sinn Fein.

“Not only were the riot squad involved in yet another controversial incident regarding Republican PoWs, those who delegate the brutality [the governors] decided this time to inflict it with their own hands, physically striking our men behind the wire. Two governors found it acceptable to strike two PoWs.”

The two separate incidents resulted in three prisoners being verbally and then physically assaulted before being “dragged off to the boards [the punishment block]”.

In a separate statement issued through the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association, another group of prisoners described what they said was a “co-ordinated physical attack”. They said two governors were physically involved in an assault in which five prisoners were grabbed or beaten. Prisoners Sean McVeigh, Jason Ceulmans, Brian Walsh, Darren Poleon, Brendan McConville and Anthony Davison, were among those assaulted and dragged to the ground in the melee. The IRPWA said that they were “danced all over” by the riot squad as they lay on the ground.

It was not an insignificant or spontaneous incident, they said.

“This was the combination of months of harassment and intimidation against Republican Prisoners.

“This was a co-ordinated attack carried out by former H-Block screws [warders] and Crumlin Road screws, former UDR men and others who have regularly abused and intimidated republican prisoners on the landings.

“Seven governors were present on the wing while republican prisoners were locked down for five hours with no access to health care, solicitors, toilets or food before being escorted to cells by dozens of screws clad in riot gear.

“PSNI members also arrived on the landing whilst medics whispered and collaborated with the security governor. Clearly the ‘supposedly impartial’ PSNI is keen to act in unison with the jail administration to oppress Republican Prisoners.

“It is obvious that the Six County Prison Service is determined to break the spirit and resolve of Republican Prisoners and they will happily resort to the old tactic of physical violence but we remain today unbowed and unbroken Republican Political Prisoners.”

Republican Sinn Fein said that the prisoners “will never be criminalised”.

“This is a sign of what is to come. If they believe that Republican PoWs will cower they are wrong; if they believe we on the outside will do nothing they are also wrong.

“We cannot stand idle, we must not be silent, our brave PoWs are being brutalised and beaten because they will not conform, they will not accept the label of criminality.”

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© 2016 Irish Republican News