Prisoners think ‘SF want to break us’ - MP
DISSIDENT republican prisoners have told Londonderry MP Mark Durkan “Sinn Féin is using the situation because they want to break us in the jails,” he has claimed at Westminster. But Mr Durkan dismissed the notion as nonsense.
Mr Durkan was speaking during a debate on the Northern Ireland security situation.
He said: “I believe we need to disarm the dissidents of that ability, and we can do so. Nobody is more cynical about the cynicism of Sinn Féin than me, but when I meet republican dissident prisoners and their families and they tell me: ‘We think Sinn Fein is using the situation because they want to break us in the jails.’
“I tell them that although no one would be more on Sinn Féin’s case than me, I do not believe that that is true. The idea that Sinn Fein is using David Ford, the Minister of Justice, to help break their rivals in the prisons is simply not true.
“It is nonsense, but it is feeding the mindset of those people and we need to confront it.”
The Londonderry MP went on to state that the humane treatment of prisoners in NI jails was an important issue.
“We need to ensure that we deal with people’s legitimate questions and concerns in prisons, for example about why strip searches should be carried out at the rate and in the form in which they are carried out.
“Whenever there is a clear modern technological alternative, that should be used. Rather than wasting time experimenting with the technology in other locations, it should be brought in where it is most needed and that is Maghaberry.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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