Responding to reports of an escalation of conflict between republican prisoners and the regime in Maghaberry Jail, éirígí general secretary Breandán Mac Cionnaith has called for the reintroduction of political status.
Mac Cionnaith, himself a former political prisoner, said: “Over the last number of years, the prison regime in Maghaberry has gained notoriety for its appalling treatment of republican prisoners and their families.
“This treatment has been centred on the denial of political status and the attempt to portray those who are detained as a result of the British occupation as common criminals.
“Regardless of one’s political opinions, the reality is that these prisoners would not be in jail were it not for the ongoing British presence in Ireland – they are clearly political prisoners and they should be treated as such.”
Mac Cionnaith continued: “The brutality employed by prison staff in Maghaberry should be condemned by all those with a concern for human rights.
“The only way this conflict will be resolved is for political status to be restored for republican prisoners and for the harassment and degrading treatment of visiting families to be ended immediately.”