Despite adverse weather conditions dozens of Republicans protested at Hydebank Gaol today. As activists arrived at Hydebank they were met by Crown Force riflemen in armoured land rovers and unmarked cars. This was a human rights protest to highlight the unacceptable conditions Republican Prisoners are held captive under. Below we have the full speech given by former Republican Prisoner and Newry Saoradh activist Stephen Murney;
On behalf of the Saoradh POW department, I want to thank everyone for attending this protest.
We have come here today to make it clear to the six-county colonial prison service that the Republican community is determined to bring an end to its oppression of Republican Political Prisoners.
Conditions in this gaol have deteriorated substantially in recent times. The tactics of Stormont’s prison regime are clear, they seek to oppress prisoners through petty and vindictive harassment, attacking every aspect of their daily lives.
This is clear through their determination in Hydebank to deliberately leave Christine Connor at risk of attack and serious harm by anti-Republican elements, their prevention of access to adequate healthcare, legal visits and family visits, and their denial of even the most rudimentary recreational and educational resources.
They wish to embed this practice now in a bid to enforce it against all future prisoners who will be held in this site of captivity.
Saoradh will not tolerate this; we intend to increase the intensity of our campaign until this so-called prison service and its political masters cease the oppression of Republicans in Hydebank and Maghaberry.
We demand that Republican Prisoner Christine Connor is moved from Hydebank to Maghaberry Gaol.
Since the signing away of the status attained by political prisoners in the Good Friday Agreement, Republican Prisoners have endured two decades of torment and anguish at the hands of these bigoted reactionaries, with the support of Britain’s Lackies in Stormont.
We are making clear here today as we did in Maghaberry just a short while ago, that enough is enough.
Victory to the Prisoners!
Tiocfaidh Ár Lá”