Monday, 23 April 2012

Statement From the Republican Collective Landing, Maghaberry.

When we commenced protest action back in April 2010 we had identified that there were two main issues that needed to be resolved before we would end the protest. The two main issues were strip-searching and controlled movement. We had also recognised that any agreement must have in place a mechanism to deal with other issues that needed addressed, i.e., dealing with republican prisoners as a collective and not as individuals. As far as we were concerned, all these issues had been addressed within the now failed 12th August 2010 agreement.

Recently, David Ford has accepted that strip searching should be replaced with technology but has declined to give any time frame for the implementation of this and more importantly hasn't consulted with us in anyway regarding the nature of any new proposed technology. As far as we are concerned, the technology agreed in the August agreement was and is suffice to cater for their security needs. Any new technology which is imposed upon us without consultation will be another breach of the August agreement.

From the time we commenced protest action we have consistently maintained our policy of meeting with all and any concerned parties including political parties, independent facilitators and the assessment team appointed by David Ford. We believe that we have made our position clear to them in relation to all matters concerned on countless occasions.

Given it is now almost two years since we commenced our policy of engagement to resolve the outstanding issues and the subsequent failure to bring about the real change necessary we are now firmly of the view that any future engagement with all those concerned will be both pointless and a feeble exercise in cosmetic window dressing.

As of today, 23rd April 2012, our engagement with any political party, the facilitators or the assessment team will cease. We will not facilitate any attempt by anyone to force anything short of our demands upon us.

Republican Prisoners, Roe 4, Maghaberry.

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