The Saoradh POW Department wish to relay the concerns of current Republican Political Prisoners following the outlining of new visitation rules by the Maghaberry administration.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Republican Prisoners have taken measures to ensure minimal risk to themselves and their families by refusing visits before they were initially stopped by gaol administration. This is despite the fact screws continue to occupy Roe 4 without the wearing the necessary PPE.
While current visits have now ceased, criminals within Maghaberry are allowed unfiltered ‘zoom’ video calls, however Republican Prisoners aren’t afforded the same and have to continue with traditional phone calls while not seeing their family for the past five months.
With Covid-19 restrictions now beginning to ease, the Maghaberry administration have plans to install a new visiting system whereby:
• Only two Republican Prisoners will be allowed off the wing per month for a visit
• The playroom at visits will close
• No children will be allowed to attend a visit
• Only one adult per prisoner
• A clear Perspex screen will separate the prisoner from their visitor, with no contact permitted and if contact happens the prisoner will be put into isolation for two weeks
• The tuck shop within the visiting room will remain closed therefore leaving both the prisoner and the visitor without refreshments
• The same entrance and searching procedures will be in place including the use of the infamous “drug dogs”
Having thoroughly discussed these measures, Republican Prisoners on Roe 4 have opted to refuse them and will therefore have no visits for the foreseeable future. The prisoners view the administrations implementation of the Perspex screens as a stealth exercise by using the Covid-19 pandemic as cover to finally install something that Republican Prisoners have resisted for years.
The Saoradh POW Department wish to extend our solidarity to Republican Prisoners and their families at this difficult and uncertain time and call for support while we continue to highlight the ongoing abuses by the MI5 controlled Maghaberry administration.