A republican prisoner recently extradited into British jurisdiction was dragged away from a Christmas visit by prison warders before being subjected to a vicious strip search.
In the incident during family visits at Maghaberry prison on Wednesday, December 27th, DD McLaughlin, was “trailed out of the visiting area” by the prison’s notorious riot squad, according to the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association.
The IRPWA said that a warder at Maghaberry had declared Mr McLaughlin’s visit to be terminated on the basis that he and his visitor ‘had been sharing the same drink’.
When challenged, the warder then hit an alarm to bring in the riot squad who dragged Mr McLaughlin to ‘the boards’, the prison’s punishment area, where he was subjected to a “very violent” forced strip search. Mr McLaughlin was forced to seek medical attention.
The incident followed other examples of vindictive treatment of republican prisoners at the jail over Christmas, including a bid to reduce the number of days of Christmas home leave.
While the general prison population at the jail were granted the usual extended leave into the New Year, republican prisoners were again ordered to return to Maghaberry early.
Despite a successful emergency judicial review brought by one of their number, Nathan Hastings, prison authorities again attempted to impose a limit, and then demanded a guarantee that Hastings would not challenge this through the courts.
“Nathan refused to give any such guarantee and was then held at reception for 3 and a half hours before the threat of an emergency JR [judicial review] to get him released from Maghaberry forced them into allowing him to leave without giving the guarantee they demanded,” the IRPWA said. “Maghaberry are now, without fear of recourse or the expense to the public purse, in contempt of court.”