ic Derry - Prison Records 'A Matter Of Rights'

Prison Records 'A Matter Of Rights'

Mar 2 2004

Sinn Fein spokesman and former Long Kesh hunger striker, Raymond McCartney told the Sinn Fein Ard Fheis that wiping prison records of people imprisoned for political offences was 'a matter of rights.'

He was speaking in support of a motion calling for the records to be wiped clean.

Mr. McCartney said: "This is a very important motion for all exprisoners and their families.

"Many people, especially some sections of the media, have tried to portray this as some sort of attempt by Sinn Fein to airbrush the past.

"However, this just shows the hypocrisy of the media. When we suggest the creation of a museum at long Kesh we are accused of glorifying the past, yet when we propose the wiping out of prison records we are accused of trying to airbrush out the past.'

Mr. McCartney continued: "This is not an attempt to airbrush the past but an attempt to address a serious issue of ex-prisoner's rights.

"This issue involves the right to work, the right to travel, the right to lead a life where they are free from discrimination.

"Ex-prisoners face many obstacles in what jobs they can apply for and where they can and can't travel to."

He continued: "We believe that the prison records of everyone who was imprisoned for political offences over the last thirty years should be cleared.

"This will go a long way towards helping all exprisoners to get on with their lives without facing the discrimination that is part and parcel of life for former prisoners."

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