An inappropriate and unreasonable detention



A letter by lifelong republican Kieran ‘Zack’ Smyth to highlight his internment at the hands of MI5 has been published by the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association.


A Chairde,

I am writing to make you aware of the current situation I find myself in and asking you to highlight what I feel is a gross injustice perpetrated against me by the so-called British ‘justice system’.

I am an unapologetic Irish Republican and currently find myself imprisoned in Maghaberry Gaol at the behest of British intelligence services under the auspices of “national security”.

I was released from Maghaberry Gaol in September 2019 on licence after serving 6 years of a 12 year sentence. 50% remission is standard practice in the Six Counties. On March 27th 2020 I was arrested from my home by heavily armed Crown Force members in PSNI uniforms and taken straight to Maghaberry with no reason given for my detention nor an appearance before any court.

On arrival at the gaol I was forcibly strip searched by a team of riot screws and informed that my licence had been revoked by the British Secretary of State invoking ‘a national security clause’. I was told that as a result of this I would be forced to serve out the remainder of my sentence - another six years.

I was then handed a statement that had been drafted by MI5. This alleged that I had rejoined the IRA upon my release and listed allegations of involvement in what they termed various ‘terrorist attacks’, some of which dated back to as far as the 1970s.

These allegations have been made by MI5 with the assistance of the PSNI and are entirely uncorroborated and no evidence has been produced with regard to any of them. A full and comprehensive copy of these nonsensical allegations has been provided to both my legal team and those campaigning for my release.

It is my belief that this whole process is an affront to natural justice and an example of the ongoing interference by the British Government via MI5 into the release conditions of Irish Republicans who have served their sentences.

I now find myself once again in a British gaol in Ireland, this time in my 60s. Without any evidence put to me, without any charges and on the basis of totally false and malicious allegations made by shadowy MI5 personnel with no right to be in Ireland.

I have also been informed that any hearings regarding my case will be heard in a closed, secret session. My legal team will only be allowed access to any of the proceedings should MI5 deem that appropriate. I recently won leave to appeal to the High Court to challenge the legality of my detention, however this does not instill me with confidence - for obvious reasons.

I am requesting that you do all you can to assist the campaign for my release by highlighting my administrative detention that amounts to internment at the hands of MI5. A detention that is inappropriate and unreasonable.

Is mise le meas,

Kieran “Zack” Smyth

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