These proposals were minimalist in their outlook and merely an interim measure to assist in moving the process forward. The proposals, which were to have been implemented on the 1st October 2015, were accepted by Republican prisoners as a means of moving the situation from its current stalled position.
During the course of this process we have been pragmatic in all our dealings with the ICRC and appreciate its position of neutrality and impartiality. Despite all of the criticism of the treatment of Republican Prisoners, from a myriad of reports and observers for over a decade, the Brits and the reactionary Jail Administration have refused to move. It is clear that they are not interested in resolving issues that have been seen by all to be draconian, degrading and unnecessary. Their only interest, it would seem, are security led and political. They seek only to control, punish and criminalise.
During this process we have identified that opposition to progress in Roe House comes not only from inside the walls of Maghaberry, this opposition has come from securocrats, Jonathan Stephens and Ben Wallace under the direction of the NIO and MI5. David Ford, Sue McAllister, Phil Wragg along with the loyalist Prison Officers Association (POA) and their allies in the DUP are all mere puppets in this particular show. Unfortunately, those with the power to resolve all issues of contention have once again scuppered a process that had every opportunity to finally remove all causes of conflict within Maghaberry.
All through the latest engagement Republican Prisoners exposed every contrived event, half truths and attempts of subterfuge from a devious Administration. We told the ICRC Independent Chair from the first day of this process that the Administration and those controlling them had no serious intention to resolve matters. In stating this we explained that Republican Prisoners have engaged, from the conception of Roe House, in process after process with genuine intent. The individuals, groups and organisations assisting these processes have also engaged in a sincere way with the belief that all those ‘around the table’ were ‘up for a deal’.
Republican Prisoners stated unambiguously to the ICRC Independent Chair that, regardless of their international standing and credibility, those pulling the strings in relation to this process see them only as an ‘unwanted distraction’ that unfortunately had to be dealt with. This Administration would only ever give the impression of movement while all the time remaining static. Republican Prisoners are the key stakeholders in that process and therefore take no pleasure in being proved right.
Republican Political Prisoners
19th November 2015