Another Republican Political Prisoner Assaulted by Riot Squad
Roe 4 Republican Political Prisoner, Thomas Ashe Mellon was this afternoon assaulted by the notorious Riot Squad. Thomas was on his way for a legal visit when he was surrounded by a member of the PSNI, a Governor and the Riot Squad who demanded that they see his legal papers. It is noteworthy, that it was a member of the PSNI who issued the initial demands to see the papers; stating that they believed they contained a statement in which Prison officers were named. Thomas refused, as is his right to do so. A stand-off occurred for sometime before 8 Riot Squad members attacked him demanding that he hand them over. Thomas’ arms were then forced up his back and his legal papers taken from him. The legal papers were read before being returned to him when they were satisfied with their content. This assault has further heightened tensions on the Republican Landings and the IRPWA are gravely concerned for the welfare of RPPs as the situation in Maghaberry deteriorates further.
The evidence on this occasion of the direct involvement of the PSNI along with the presence of a Governor and the aggressive Riot Squad introduces a sinister element into ongoing events within Maghaberry Prison. It has long been argued by Republican Political Prisoners that there exists a massive intelligence structure operating alongside the overt structures of government within the Six County state and that a controlling element within this is MI5 who have, since the creation of the St Andrews Agreement, the ‘lead responsibility’ for what the British term ‘National Security’ in the Six Counties. Patently, the prison system has been identified by British intelligence agencies, such as MI5, as an important strategic battlefield. Evidently a process is underway were by the British security services are usurping ‘ordinary’ institutions for undefined and unaccountable British ‘National Security’ purposes.
If such events, as those which have taken place within Maghaberry Prison, were to occur in Britain or in any Western Liberal Democratic state there would be enduring consequences for those involved. However, the reality is that a colonial mind-set within the political establishment and the media ensure that news such as this does not gain political traction. Even within the Six Counties little attention is paid because a British Counter insurgency campaign, in excess of thirty years, means that even the nationalist community has begun to ‘normalise’ such events.
The IRPWA through its actions over this last number of days has exposed the lengths to which the state will go to cover up its orchestrated abuse of Republican Political Prisoners. We have done this by presenting the facts and by challenging the lies and spin spouted by the political establishment. Much work still needs to be done but we are prepared for whatever challenge that lies ahead.