Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Duffy Family Banned From Visiting Colin

The Lurgan-based campaign group, The Friends of Colin Duffy, has strongly criticised a decision made today by the Prison Service to ban Mr Duffy’s wife, Martine, and his brother, Paul, from visiting him in Maghaberry Prison.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the campaign group said:

“Earlier today, the Prison Service informed Colin Duffy that both his wife, Martine, and his brother, Paul, were banned from visiting him in Maghaberry Prison. No reasons were given for this arbitrary banning order.

“It is our understanding that the Duffy family are presently taking urgent legal advice with a view to challenging the prison authorities’ prohibition of visits by immediate family members. We expect that such a challenge will be mounted through the courts in the coming days.

“This banning of family members from prison visits represents a serious breach of a prisoners’ human and civil rights and we believe that such a banning order also represents a clear contravention of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights which states that ‘Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence’.

“It is noticeable that the European Court has previously ruled, on a number of occasions, that such arbitrary interference with Article 8 rights of prisoners is incompatible with European law.

“This latest oppressive and provocative move by the authorities at Maghaberry prison is clearly designed to increase tensions both inside and outside the gaol. It also represents a pre-meditated escalation by the prison authorities of their efforts to break the resolve of Republican POW’s in the ongoing campaign to achieve freedom of association and end to strip searches.

“It is patently obvious that the prison authorities and, indeed, David Ford, as so-called Justice minister, are permitting the unionist-dominated POA with its a long history of acting as ‘a force within a sectarian force’ to dictate conditions within Maghaberry prison.

“We fully condemn this deliberate provocation and targeting of prisoners’ families, and call on all those interested in upholding human and civil rights to demand that this latest authoritarian and oppressive measure be immediately rescinded. "


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