A 1916 Societies statement on the collapse of the British police case against three Irish republicans.
The case in point, despite that the parties concerned had already been released in advance of yesterday’s developments, remains indicative of how the legal process has been warped to serve the requirements of the British intelligence and security apparatus. It amounts to a classic example of what many decry as ‘internment by remand’ – the malign use of extended periods of imprisonment without bail – to target and remove from society political opponents of choice. Towards that end the British justice system and British policing work hand in hand – from PSNI/MI5 covert surveillance to the courts that use ‘secret evidence’ to remand (and in time to release) those concerned.
For those who questioned the need for the recent anti-internment demonstration in Belfast, as though it were of a bygone era and unrelated to Ireland 2015, the events yesterday have given them their answer. Internment yet again has been exposed as alive and well in modern Ireland and indeed of critical concern for those with an interest in civil liberty, regardless of political disposition.
Many have been denied bail for prolonged periods on the same false premise that ‘impeccable evidence’ would be forthcoming, only for this same ‘evidence’ – as it proved yesterday – to amount to nothing of note as the case nears trial. That the victims of this policy remain incarcerated in the interim is of little consequence to the state, indeed it is the primary objective. Many have passed through Maghaberry using this same perversion of process and there are others who remain there yet. Such practices are wholly unacceptable in the 21st century and must be brought to an end without delay.
The Duffy family may be the latest victims of this wilful abuse of power but they are not the first and nor will they be the last. It is then incumbent on all concerned with the protection of human rights to raise their collective voice and challenge what is a fundamental breach of the right to liberty, supposedly protected under the European Convention but ignored at will by the British state. With as much in mind, internment by remand has no place in our society and should be ended with immediate effect.