Republican prisoners spat at by warders

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Republican Prisoners at Maghaberry prison have said that prison warders have been caught deliberately spitting on doors during night checks. Saoradh has demanded an end to what it said was a “barbaric activity” which has threatened a coronavirus outbreak.

Video footage has been sought from the prison authorities as proof of the potentially deadly assault, which took place earlier this month.

“This is clearly a provocative response to demands from prisoners that screws be kept off the Republican wing as they are the only source of potential infection,” Saoradh said.

“These actions are aptly reflective of the same endeavours being carried out by the Zionist oppressors who have been spitting on the property of Palestinians in occupied Palestine.”

They warned that any infection on the wing would spread rapidly. “The healthcare record of the Maghaberry administration speaks for itself -- prisoners would have no hope of adequate treatment,” they said.

And in this year’s Easter message, a statement issued by republican prisoners in both jurisdictions said they had unilaterally made the sacrifice to cancel visits and temporary releases while changing routines and habits to reduce the spread of the virus.

They had done this “to ensure the well being of the most vulnerable on our landings and indeed the rest of our comrades while sharing what we have collectively,” they said.

“Such socialist living has long been the order of the day for Irish imprisoned revolutionaries. “

The prisoners also criticised the decision to put “profit before the people” in response to the coronavirus, which they feared wold result in the loss of many lives:

“While the perceived British elite of society such as Charlie Windsor and Boris Jonson and numerous Irish so-called ‘personalities’ secure tests and results at a moment’s notice, the very people faced with the enormous task of dealing with the pandemic, the nurses’ doctors and other frontline workers face an anxious wait.

“If the current Covid-19 pandemic has shown one thing, it’s that successive capitalist governments on this island have laid bare the plight of the most vulnerable in our society. As billionaire corporations look for bailouts while simultaneously disposing of their employees, the working class on this island have been unified in their response.

“It is those who have suffered job losses or who have very little by way of finance who are out collecting and donating vital equipment to hospitals or shopping for neighbours who are no longer in a position to do so for themselves.”

* The full text of their statement is included in this week’s issue.

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