Crisis in Maghaberry

I.R.S.P. statement on crisis in Maghaberry
9th May 2010

Following a white line Picket in west Belfast on Saturday in support of the republican socialist and republican prisoners in Maghaberry, the IRSP have called for direct lines of communication to be established between prisoner representatives and the prison regime.

Since Easter Sunday the situation has seriously deteriorated, conditions endured republican prisoners are a direct infringement on their human rights and cannot be allowed to continue. Maghaberry prison regime is presently a rudderless ship and prisoners have been forced by the prison regime in to protest action.

IRSP spokesperson Paul Little said:
“It is important that we do not allow the POA to dictate the conditions in which Republican socialist and Republican prisoners are being held, the fact that Maghaberry Prison has not had a senior governor and the recent POA industrial action are contributing factors in the decline of conditions within the prison.

The prisoners at present are on a 23-hour lock up, unable to wash or use the toilet and are refusing to eat on such unhygienic conditions in their cells, Prisoner have also been assaulted by prison officers. We believe this is in direct violation of their human rights, the prisoners have two basic demands Free association and an end to needless and degrading strip searches, these are fair and equitable demands and have no direct bearing on security within the prison”.

The IRSP will initially be seeking meetings with both the Prisoners Ombudsman and the Human Rights Commission to discus the current plight of the prisoners, it is imperative that this situation in Maghaberry is not allowed to continue and dialogue between all those involved is needed to bring a speedy resolution to this issue. The IRSP is fully committed to supporting the prisoners in finding a solution to the current empass.