|Imprisoned in Maghaberry|
The Maghaberry Jail Administration has sought to further tighten the screw on Republican Political Prisoners. In spite of its commitment to treat Republican Roe House as a single space it is now attempting to forcibly divide Republican Prisoners from each other.
On 10th August 2015, Security Officer, John Moore, under the direction of Security Governors Brian Armour and David Savage announced this further restrictive addition to their futile controlled movement policy. The same individual sought to elevate tensions the previous day when he restricted Republican Prisoners access to the Roe 4 Kitchen, engineered a bogus alarm incident and then ordered the wing into lockdown which resulted in two RPPs being charged for supposedly calling him a “Clown”.
On Monday night, 10th August 2015, the hated Maghaberry Jail Riot Squad complete with batons, riot shields and dogs swamped Republican Roe House, culminating in an unprovoked attack on the same two Roe 4 Republican Prisoners, Nathan Hastings (22) and Conal Corbett (18). This deliberate attack and forced cell shift of Roe 4 aligned Republican Prisoners, who were handcuffed before being trailed off the Roe 3 landing, is the latest malign action from the Jail Administration in an effort to weaken all Republican Political Prisoners by a de facto return to the old split wing set up. This attack and further tightening of controlled movement is the most recent reaction by the loyalist ultras to any perceived progress by Republican Prisoners in obtaining adequate living conditions.
For the past 18 months Roe 4 Republican Prisoners have prepared, took apart and analysed, every document, Jail Administration and Ombudsman correspondence along with every prison rule relating to the Jail’s peer system and its equivalent PREP scheme around all 6 county Jails. Roe 4 Republican Prisoners lodged hundreds of individual and specific internal complaints and requests in order to tease out every available piece of information and criteria. All of the documented material was then properly formulated and presented to solicitors and barristers so as to begin Judicial Review proceedings.
From the opening of Roe House over 11 years ago the Jail was able to hold the line in regards to preventing Republican Prisoners from obtaining tier 2 through compulsory drug tests and other such criminalising demands. Republican Prisoners refused these compulsory conditions and instead broke the system down brick by brick. On the morning of the Judicial Review, 12th June 2015, the Jail Administration, being faced with such overwhelming strategically compiled evidence, conceded defeat.
Roe 4, Republican Prisoners have had recent similar success forcing all Jail staff in the 6 Counties to wear identifiers. This was more detrimental to the Jail in terms of financial cost and in exposing the hypocrisy which lies at the heart of the Administration’s treatment of Republican Prisoners. It is forecast to cost hundreds of thousands if not millions of pounds. Such legal resource proved necessary after a number of cases in which Republican Prisoners were severely beaten by Jailers who had up until now evaded identification and scrutiny. The Jails tier system which determines the conditions and provisions available to prisoners had from the establishment of the Republican Wing in 2004 until yesterday always restricted Republican Prisoners to a tier 1 regime without the possibility of being elevated.
Rather than act progressively and simply address the issue NIPS reactionaries insisted on resisting change and progress. The Judicial Review proceedings were only conceded at the eleventh hour by the Jail Administration after considerable legal costs. It is of note that this supposedly cash strapped institution can always afford to finance its continued resistance to its own human rights obligations. Despite Roe 4 Republican Prisoners winning this modest victory (for all Republican Prisoners and indeed Loyalist Prisoners) at the beginning of June the Jail Administration continued to resist inevitable change preferring to defy a court ruling and commence a review to delay change and refusing to implement that change for as long as possible.
Since Roe 4 Republican Political Prisoners increased the tempo of their legal challenges they have been subject to efforts by the Jail Security Department to thwart access to legal representatives. The sole purpose of this interference by Brian Armour and David Savage is to sabotage legal challenges.
All of this is also being documented and is currently being forwarded to bodies and organisations, such as, the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) International Red Cross Committee (IRCC) along with a list of Jail oversight bodies and politicians from Ireland, both North and South as well as a number of high profile legal firms.