Statement – No Compassion 14/10/15
On Sunday 11th October, a Roe 4 Republican Prisoner was granted compassionate release after his partner was rushed into hospital for heart related emergency surgery. He received several hours to attend the hospital and be with his family.
Having to endure the distress of the aforementioned issues was clearly not sufficient for the Jail Riot Squad who were waiting his return to forcibly strip search him. While the strip search was underway, being videoed and carried out by 6 Riot Squad members, the Republican Prisoner heard a discussion going on as he was pinned down on the floor. Subsequent to the conversation he felt a small band on his wrist being removed which had been given to him by his 8 year old daughter and which he had been wearing for over 6 months without incident, including through more than 50 previous searches by the same Riot Squad.
The Republican Prisoner explained the importance of the wristband to the duty governor minutes after the event and that this was a case of pure vindictiveness and that it was “only an elastic band” the governor agreed and went to retrieve the band from the Riot Squad. He returned minutes later and told the Republican Prisoner that the Riot Squad were refusing to give it to him.
Upon returning to the landing the Republican Prisoner became aware that a member of landing staff, and a known bigot, Pamela (Pam) Brandon was laughing and joking about what had just occurred with the member of the Riot Squad responsible for the removal of the band from his wrist.
All of this was a clear attempt to cause further distress at an obviously difficult time. It demonstrates that little has changed with regards the power held by the security controlled Riot Squad, who were described by the CJNI in 2005 as having “a strong influence on the establishment”.
Ironically, this all occurred just days after Sue McAllister claimed that Jail Staff were enduring stress as a result of the situation here. Sue needs to stop turning a blind eye to her bigoted staff instead of painting rosy pictures of them. You can put a suit on a monkey Sue but at the end of the day it is still a monkey.