Continued Repression of Republican Prisoners will Ensure Progress will be Impossible.
Since the recent critical HMIP/CJINI report regarding Maghaberry Jail Republican Prisoners have highlighted a steady increase in regression by the Jail Administration. This behavior was also noted during the time of the failed Stock Take in 2014 and the ICRC process in 2015. These were blatant attempts to provoke tensions and then use those said tensions as a pretext to claim that progress was impossible due to a lack of trust and falsified threats.
The Jail Administration, with Brian Armour leading the charge, is again undertaking this process of sabotage and antagonism. These recently included a deterioration of living conditions; with no efficient heating in cells since December with Republican Prisoners having to sleep fully clothed and with deterioration in the food leaving most meals inedible. These conditions have supplemented the more overt forms of harassment including the recently highlighted sleep disruption, abuse of families and the use of abusive screws on landings.
The HMIP/CJINI report made a recommendation regarding the treatment of Republican Prisoners: The Jail has been given an 18 month probationary period to make changes and it is clear that elements within the Jail are now attempting to sabotage any potential progress.
However, it must be clear that regardless of lies to the media and falsified threats attempting to establish credibility whilst continuing to repress Prisoners on the Republican Wing progress will be impossible.