As we move into 2017, the Thomas Ashe Society Omagh repeat previous calls for progressives in the community to lend their support to political prisoners in Maghaberry. We ask that they raise awareness, where they can, as to their plight and consider donating to the various defence funds operating in Ireland today. These men and the sacrifice they make for the people are deserving of no less.
As Irish republicans, we stand with the men and insist that their rights long-denied are returned to them forthwith. Strip-search, controlled movement and enforced isolation are barbaric practices with no place in a modern society. They are the instruments of choice employed by the oppressor in a vain attempt to criminalise the republican struggle. They will not succeed.
These hateful policies must be challenged by all right-thinking people. That Irishmen are subject to such hideous abuse in the year 2017 cannot be allowed to continue. Likewise, what is an issue of the utmost seriousness – that would never be tolerated anywhere else in the supposedly civilised world – can no longer be swept under the carpet by those with position in the community.
We reiterate that the August 2010 agreement, designed to resolve tensions in the gaol, should be implemented in full and with immediate effect, calling likewise on other republicans to speed that demand going forward. Republicans are entitled to a dignified existence worthy their status as political prisoners. To those struggling to secure that entitlement we extend our ongoing support.
Chair, Thomas Ashe Society Omagh