Statement – The Isolation Of Gavin Coyle – 17/12/15
Republican Prisoners, Roe 4, Maghaberry Jail wish to highlight the continued forced isolation of Gavin Coyle. Gavin was due to be released in early 2016 after being held for nearly 5 years in atrocious conditions in Maghaberry’s punishment block. This has now been scuppered after Gavin was arrested, charged and interned by remand on new charges.
Gavin has been held in the punishment block for almost 5 years this is despite the average stay there being 3 weeks. The block was described in the November 2015, HMIP/CJINI report as old and shabby with cells being in a poor state of disrepair and the environment oppressive. The report further stated that prisoners remained locked in their cells for at least 22 hours each day in a regime which is too basic. These are the conditions which Gavin has endured for 5 years whilst constantly being threatened and harassed by drug fuelled prisoners being held in segregation throughout the night.
Gavin has been held in isolation at the behest of NIO/MI5 claiming he is under threat on the Republican landings. The reality is that Gavin is not and never has been under threat on the Republican landings and his isolation, similar to that of a number of other cases, is a means of physiological torment designed to weaken resolve and make him susceptible to pressure and numerous approaches by MI5. These approaches have been facilitated by Maghaberry Governors under the control of MI5.
We wish to reiterate that Gavin should be on the Republican Wing and that he should be moved to Roe 4 immediately. There are countless bodies, individuals and organisations, including those within the Jail, who have accepted in private that no threat exists from Republicans. This was demonstrated by a 48 hour fast conducted last year by all prisoners on Roe 3 and Roe 4 in solidarity with Gavin. It is now time that all of those who have accepted the realities of Gavin’s isolation privately now state publically including the constitutional Nationalist parties and the Catholic Church rather than play politics with a man’s life.