Young republican prisoner under duress at Maghaberry

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Saoradh has criticised the continued refusal of the British administration and the Six-County prison service’s to transfer young republican Emmet McSheffrey to the republican wing at Maghaberry jail.

Republican prisoners in Roe House have made it clear that they wish to see his transfer.

Saoradh’s POW Department said the 20-year-old has now been held for two weeks in a vulnerable position in Hydebank gaol “amongst a prison population filled with potentially hostile elements.”

“Adding to the hardship of Emmet and his family is that this situation has forced him to take protest action, resulting in him being held in the punishment block, where he has been now for five days.”

They demanded his immediate transfer to the Republican wing and an end to what they described as psychological harassment.

Meanwhile Republican political prisoners in Maghaberry have launched a legal challenge for access to the prison library.

Prisoners held in Roe House wing are currently not allowed to visit the library or withdraw books at Britain’s highest security prison in County Antrim.

The latest challenge comes after an academic book featuring views of republicans was banned. The censored book was by Dr Marisa McGlinchey, who is an assistant professor at Coventry University in England, titled “The Politics of ‘Dissident’ Irish Republicanism”, a decision which was later appealed.

Lawyer Gavin Booth, of Phoenix Law, said the right to visit the library is guaranteed under prison rules.

“This provides a prima facie entitlement to be permitted to go to the library,” he said.

“As a minimum every prisoner must have access to books or other such items from the library. The failure to permit either of this is contrary to prison rules and is unlawful.”

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