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Dublin March And Speakers At Rally Demand Freedom For Marian Price

category dublin | rights and freedoms | press release author Wednesday September 26, 2012 18:57author by Diarmuid Breatnach Report this post to the editors

Around a thousand marched on Saturday in Dublin on the 16th to demand the freeing of Marian Price, currently 18 months in in solitary confinement in British custody in the Six Counties. Tensions were high due to the recent Gardaí raids on republicans in parts of Dublin and Louth, including the arrests of the mother and two brother of a republican. In addition a heavy Garda presence at the start of the march, along with their taking names and addressses of some marchers, boded ill for the event. However, it passed peacefully.

The marchers, led by the banner of the Dublin Free Marian Price Commitee, started from the Garden of Remembrance and as the lead banner and the Pride of Erin flute band from Portadown stepped on to O’Connell Bridge, the end of the march was just setting foot on to the far end of O’Connell Street.

Section of the march at the beginning, Frederick St. and Parnell Square.
Section of the march at the beginning, Frederick St. and Parnell Square.

Turning as they crossed the Bridge, the marchers came back up O’Connell Street to the GPO where speakers Gerry McGlinchey (Marian Price’s husband), Cnclr. Cieran Perry, Thomas Pringle TD and Pauline Mellon addressed the crowd. All speakers, including the chairperson Íta Ní Chionnaigh highlighted the injustice of the fifty-eight year-old Republican’s continued imprisonment without charge, calling it “internment”, calling attention also to her ill-health and mistreatment and the need for her immediate release. All also demanded the Irish Government make representations to the British government to seek Price’s release.

Marian Price is currently being held without any charge whatsoever. She was imprisoned by Owen Patterson, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, claiming he revoked her release on licence under the Good Friday Agreement, as she constituted “a danger to the public”. He has not produced any evidence of this and his decision is not open to appeal. Marian Price’s legal team insist that she was not freed on licence but rather on a Royal Pardon – at the time she was also extremely ill, having been a Republican prisoner for many years in Britain and in Ireland and having endured 200 days on hunger-strike (with her sister Dolours) and having been force-fed for 167 of them.

Speakers also referred to some other specific prisoners being held in Maghaberry such as Martin Corey and Gerry McGeough and to the conditions of the republican prisoners in general there (most have been on “dirty protest” for many months in protest at their continuing strip-searching which includes prison guards inserting fingers in their mouths and anuses).

Pauline Mellon, confessing somewhat ashamedly that she had voted for the Good Friday Agreement, stated that she now felt she had been mistaken, as the GFA had resolved nothing and seemed to be about the normalisation of British occupation and resultant injustice. All the speakers strongly emphasised that in their view, peace would be impossible without first having justice.

After the speakers, Pól Mac Adam took the stage to sing and play a song of his own composition in protest at the imprisonment of political prisoners in Ireland and around the world. Mac Adam’s own brother Gary was arrested by armed Six Counties police some months ago and imprisoned after being charged with a crime alleged to have been committed in 1986.

The Dublin march was notable not only for the absence of shouted slogans along its entire length (except for “Free Marion Price!” at the GPO) but also for the diversity of support. Also notable was the absence of party banners or placards, although representation was present not only from across much of the Republican movement (both sides of the Good Friday Agreement divide) but also from the Workers’ Solidarity Movement (anarchist), Socialist Workers’ Party (trotskyist). Many independent political activists of republican, socialist and anarchist background also attended. It was also notable for the filming of the proceedings by Garda Special Branch and by intimidatory collection of names and addresses by police officers at the rallying point at the start of the march.

The march was attended by TDs Thomas Pringle (Independent), Dessie Ellis (Sinn Féin) and Clare Daly (formerly Socialist Party, now Independent) as well as by a number of local authority councillors from various parties and independents, from both sides of the Border. Thirty TDs and Senators in the Dáil have signed a petition for Price’s release.

A spokesperson for the Dublin Committee of the Free Marian Price Campaign, which had organised the march and rally said: “People need to get involved in this campaign and add their voices to the call to have Marian Price freed. They don’t have to support her politics but on civil and human rights alone she must be freed.”

Ends

Trade Union TV video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hM8jW71esyk

JP Anderson video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3W4pvtoC0M

WSM video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_5...zHOtE

Orlaithog slideshow photos with music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRA3PwRWjg8

Related Link: http://www.freemarian.co.nr/

Thomas Pringle TD addressing the rally at the GPO.
Thomas Pringle TD addressing the rally at the GPO.

author by BrianClarkeNUJ - AllVoicespublication date Sat Oct 13, 2012 05:52Report this post to the editors

Neither Serf as a former Sinn Feiner would he be much interested in this, I suspect!

On the same day the Parker report was published on 2 March 1972, the United Kingdom Prime Minister stated in Parliament, that its torture techniques in British Occupied Ireland would not be used ever again in future. The Prime Minister's statement, directives expressly prohibiting the use of the techniques, whether singly or in combination, were then issued to their forces by the Government.

At a hearing before British Courts on 8 February 1977, the British Attorney-General declared that the 'five techniques' would not in any circumstances be reintroduced either collectively or individually.

The Irish Government referred to the Commission of International Human Rights in Strasbourg, cases of persons submitted to the five techniques during interrogation, at the unidentified centre or centres between 11 and 17 August 1971.

In a recent article SPOOKY BIZARRE BRITISH SECRET EXPERIMENTS the details of the torture of Marian Price were covered, which clearly demonstrates the British have broken their promises and undertakings to the international community with regard to their torture. They have also re-introduced internment without trial in various disguise.

The Republic of Ireland v. The United Kingdom

Before the European Court of Human Rights

18 January 1978

The British Government introduced special powers of arrest and detention without trial, which were widely known as internment without trial.The Government of the Republic of Ireland brought an application before the Commission of International Human Rights in Strasbourg (ii) that various interrogation practices--in particular the so-called 'five techniques', which included wall- standing, hooding and deprivation of sleep and food--and other practices to which suspects were subjected amounted to torture and inhuman or degrading treatment contrary to Article 3...The Commission unanimously found that the five techniques did constitute a practice of torture and that other practices amounted to inhuman and degrading treatment;:

(i) Ill-treatment had to attain a minimum level of severity to fall within Article 3, the assessment of which was necessarily relative, depending on all the circumstances, including the duration of the treatment, its physical or mental effects and, sometimes, the sex, age or state of health of the victim.

(j) Although the 'five techniques'were never officially authorized in writing, they were taught orally at a training centre and accordingly there was a practice.

(k) Since the five techniques were applied in combination, with premeditation and for hours at a time, causing at least intense physical and mental suffering and acute psychiatric disturbances, they amounted to inhuman treatment.

(l) Since the five techniques were such as to arouse in the victims feelings of fear, anguish and inferiority capable of humiliating and debasing them and possibly breaking their physical or moral resistance, they were also degrading.

(m) The distinction between torture and inhuman or degrading treatment derived principally from a difference in the intensity of the suffering inflicted.

(n) The term 'torture' attached a special stigma to deliberate inhuman treatment causing very serious and cruel suffering.

(o) The five techniques did not occasion suffering sufficient in intensity and cruelty to constitute torture.

(p) With regard to the alleged ill-treatment accompanying the five techniques in the autumn of 1971, many of those held in custody were subjected to violence by the police, which, being repeated, occurring in the same place and taking similar forms, constituted a practice, which, since it led to intense suffering and sometimes substantial physical injury, amounted to inhuman treatment though not torture.

(q) The ill-treatment at the Ballykinler military camp was discreditable and reprehensible but was not degrading or otherwise contrary to Article 3 [181].

* * * * * * * * * * * *

The Parker report was published on 2 March 1972 and on the same day, the United Kingdom Prime Minister stated in Parliament that the techniques would not be used in future as an aid to interrogation. As foreshadowed in the Prime Minister's statement, directives expressly prohibiting the use of the techniques, whether singly or in combination, were then issued to the security forces by the Government.

At the hearing before the Court on 8 February 1977, the United Kingdom Attorney-General declared that the 'five techniques' would not in any circumstances be reintroduced as an aid to interrogation.

The Irish Government referred to the Commission eight cases of persons submitted to the five techniques during interrogation at the unidentified centre or centres between 11 and 17 August 1971.

JUDGMENT.

In their written and oral pleadings before the Court, the Irish Government allege breaches of Articles 1, 3, 5 (taken together with Article 15), 6 (taken together with Article 15) and 14 (taken together with Articles 5 and 6).

They also maintain--though they do not ask the Court to make a specific finding--that the British Government failed on several occasions in their duty to furnish the necessary facilities for the effective conduct of the investigation. The Commission does not go as far as that; however, at various places in its report, the Commission points out, in substance, that the respondent Government did not always afford it the assistance desirable. The Court regrets this attitude on the part of that Government; it must stress the fundamental importance of the principle, enshrined in Article 28 (a) in fine, that the Contracting States have a duty to co-operate with the Convention institutions.

ON ARTICLE 3

Article 3 provides that 'no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment'.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

A practice incompatible with the Convention consists of an accumulation of identical or analogous breaches which are sufficiently numerous and inter-connected to amount not merely to isolated incidents or exceptions but to a pattern or system; a practice does not of itself constitute a violation separate from such breaches.

It is inconceivable that the higher authorities of a State should be, or at least should be entitled to be, unaware of the existence of such a practice. Furthermore, under the Convention those authorities are strictly liable for the conduct of their subordinates; they are under a duty to impose their will on subordinates and cannot shelter behind their inability to ensure that it is respected.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Convention prohibits in absolute terms torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Unlike most of the substantive clauses of the Convention and of Protocols 1 and 4, Article 3 makes no provision for exceptions and, under Article 15 (2), there can be no derogation therefrom even in the event of a public emergency threatening the life of the nation.

In the instant case, the only relevant concepts are 'torture' and ' inhuman or degrading treatment', to the exclusion of 'inhuman or degrading punishment'.

1. The unidentified interrogation centre or centres

(a) The 'five techniques'

In the Commission's estimation, those facts constituted a practice not only of inhuman and degrading treatment but also of torture. The applicant Government ask for confirmation of this opinion which is not contested before the Court by the respondent Government.

Although never authorized in writing in any official document, the five techniques were taught orally by the English Intelligence Centre to members of the RUC at a seminar held in April 1971. There was accordingly a practice.

The five techniques were applied in combination, with premeditation and for hours at a stretch; they caused, if not actual bodily injury, at least intense physical and mental suffering to the persons subjected thereto and also led to acute psychiatric disturbances during interrogation. They accordingly fell into the category of inhuman treatment within the meaning of Article 3. The techniques were also degrading since they were such as to arouse in their victims feelings of fear, anguish and inferiority capable of humiliating and debasing them and possibly breaking their physical or moral resistance.

On these two points, the Court is of the same view as the Commission.

The Court concludes that recourse to the five techniques amounted to a practice of inhuman and degrading treatment, which practice was in breach of Article 3.

Free Marian Price
Free Marian Price

Related Link: http://irishblog-brianclarkenuj.blogspot.com/
 
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