Statement in French . . .
Following a visit to Maghaberry prison the President of Republican Sinn Féin Des Dalton said that Republican prisoners were following in the footsteps of previous Irish Republicans in defending their right to political status. He was addressing a rally held by Republican Sinn Féin POW Department outside the jail.
“The Republican prisoners in Maghaberry are following in the tradition of Republicans throughout history who have defied all attempts to criminalise the cause of Irish freedom. The prisoners by their actions over Easter weekend have given the lie to those who claim there are no political prisoners in Ireland.
“Because of their stance they are now being denied basic human rights including 23-hour lock-up, denial of access to adequate medical care or food. The attempt to criminalise the prisoners has also been extended to their families and visitors. Drug dogs are being used to deny visits despite the fact that drugs have never been found on either a Republican prisoner or their visitors.
“The recent internment of long-time Republican Martin Corey shows that the nature of British rule never changes. Martin Corey is being held as a political hostage because he refuses to renounce his belief in the Irish people’s right to national freedom.
“Republican Sinn Féin is campaigning throughout Ireland to ensure the demands of the prisoners are heard.
“On May 29 Republicans will be marching in the Six Counties to rally support for the men in Maghaberry. In keeping with Republican principle no permission will be sought from the British state for this march.” Des Dalton said.