Controlled movement is the means by which Republican Political Prisoners are restricted in their movement within their living space. Controlled movement has no reasonable purpose and is designed to debase prisoners. It was noted by the Anne Owers’ prison review team that controlled movement in Roe House is more restrictive than any other measure in place in maximum security units in England, including those currently holding suspected suicide bombers. Furthermore, controlled movement has been widely criticised in a number of reports by CJINI, HMIP and by the Prison Ombudsman as far back as 2005.
The Jail administration previously accepted that controlled movement was to be ended as part of the August 2010 Agreement, such change has never occurred and almost 5 years after agreeing to end controlled movement, and despite extensive criticism, the Jail administration continues to aggressively and enthusiastically enforce controlled movement. Read More Here
Forced strip-searching is a tool of humiliation and degradation used by the Jail administration. The act involves a Republican prisoner being taken alone into a room whereupon six members of the notorious riot squad hold the prisoner in pressure point locks and forcibly remove his clothing. This practice has received International condemnation and is unnecessary given the advancements in technology.
The issue of forced strip-searching was resolved in the August 2010 Agreement when the Jail administration stated “a new search facility would have the latest technologies which would remove the requirement for full body searching of separated prisoners within the prison.” As in their decisions regarding controlled movement, the Jail administration has reneged on this undertaking thus ensuring that forced strip-searching remains a cause for conflict. Read More Here
Enforced isolation is an MI5 policy within the Jail involving the denial of access for Republican prisoners to the Republican landing. This results in Republican prisoners being held in total isolation or amongst a hostile criminal population. As can be imagined this is a harrowing experience for the victims of isolation, including one prisoner who has been held in isolation for almost four years and another who is under constant threat on a criminal landing and so is forced to endure 24 hour lock up.
Isolation has also been used as a tool by MI5 in an attempt to pressure Republican prisoners into providing information and becoming informers. This includes a case in 2013 where an affidavit was produced by a victim of the isolation policy describing how MI5 agents had threatened the lives of his children. This issue was highlighted by CAJ, who described concerns surrounding the “practice of an Intelligence Agency resorting to threats in an attempt to induce collaboration.”
While implemented by the Jail administration the policy is directed by their political masters in MI5, who have since Sinn Féin’s capitulation during the creation of the St Andrews Agreement, the “lead responsibility” for what the British term “National Security” in the 6 Counties. This is not solely the responsibility of the Brits alone, the two constitutional nationalist parties of the Stormont regime are enthusiastic enablers of the policy, and are as such, complicit in the torture of Republican prisoners. Read More Here
INTERNMENT BY REMAND
Since the official ending of internment in the late 70’s the policy has continued in all but name, albeit in a more surreptitious form. Up to the present day, a highly partisan pro Brit judiciary, build upon an entrenched “Diplock Court” system ensures that the 6 County Statelet can continue to simply cast its political enemies into prison.
For Republicans the evidential bar is set so low, that the action of merely forwarding a charge against an individual Republican is sufficient for their detention on remand. Periods of remand can typically last 3-4 years; a period often longer than that endured by those “officially” interned in the 1970’s. In one recent case a Republican was subject to internment by remand when a judge openly stated that it was necessary citing the “ideology” of the accused.
Of the hundreds of Republicans subjected to internment by remand, few are given bail. Where it has been given, frequently, it has been so restrictive that it is akin to political exile coupled with house arrest. The few Republicans released on bail have often been forced to live apart from their families and communities. Read More Here
JUSTICE FOR THE CRAIGAVON TWO (JFTC2)
The IRPWA fully supports the campaign calling for the release of Brendan McConville and John Paul Wootton. These two men have spent years imprisoned in Maghaberry Gaol after being charged and later unjustly convicted in a Diplock Court. They are innocent and should be released immediately.
The two men are currently on the Republican wing (Roe 4) in Maghaberry. The IRPWA will continue to offer support and assistance to both men and their families.