Arrest of pregnant woman ‘reveals colonial mindset’

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The PSNI has been condemned for ransacking the home of two political activists in the Bone area of North Belfast and arresting a heavily pregnant woman in front of her young children to take her to Musgrave Interrogation Centre.

A number of electronic devices, including toys, phones and other items were taken by the PSNI. In the course of the woman’s interrogation, no evidence was put to her by the PSNI/RUC.

Saoradh said the incident had outraged local residents and left a young family terrorised.

“That a 34 weeks pregnant mother would be trailed from her home in front of her young family for absolutely no reason other than being a Republican is indicative of the colonial and sectarian mindset of this British militia,” they said.

They called for the return of the family’s possessions, adding: “Those who seek to normalise Crown Forces in our communities need to come out and publicly explain their continued support for attacks on Republican activists and their families.”

Meanwhile, statistics relating to the number of people who have been stopped and searched by the Crown Forces under oppressive legislation have been released for the area of Derry and Strabane council.

It showed a total of 2,243 stop and searches took place under different sections of ‘anti-terror’ legislation in the two-year period up to November 2020. That equates to about one search or raid for every 50 adults in the area.

The oppressive powers introduced in 2000 and 2007 allow the PSNI and other Crown agencies to detain, search and question individual citizens without limit. Charges are then often brought on a pretext, such as a failure to answer questions.

Saoradh said the figures paint a stark picture and are testament to the fact that the republican community are being “hounded on a daily basis” by the British occupation in Ireland.

“These intrusive and draconian powers are being deliberately abused time and time again,” they said.

“It is not uncommon for a republican to be stopped twice in one day or twice in quick succession, for example in a different street 10 minutes after the previous stop and search.”

They said a large proportion of searches and raids were being carried out outside the legislation, and that these would not be reflected in the official figures.

The PSNI “backed by a well financed PR department, masquerading as a normal and transparent police force are corrupt, discriminatory and have a political agenda at play,” they said.

They said it was a political agenda “that detests everything Republicans stand for.”

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