February 18, 2004

Following a visit with his attorney on Presidents' Day, Ciaran Ferry reportedly remains "defiant" and "fully prepared to fight for his freedom to return to his wife and 2-year-old daughter."

Ciaran Ferry stated, "Despite the enormous psychological and emotional toll this illegal detention has taken on me and my American family, I refuse to allow my captors to criminalize me and the struggle I was involved in. Irish Republicans have fought too long and too hard to permit this to happen."

Eamonn Dornan, the attorney handling Ferry's asylum appeal, reported that Ciaran has now been held for over 12 months without warrant, without bond and without an opportunity to challenge the legality of his detention before a federal court.

Dornan said, "This is an unprecedented and outrageous abuse of Ciaran's constitutional due process rights. The government must explain, without delay, what possible grounds it has to consider Ciaran `a danger to society.'"

The U.S. government brokered the Good Friday Agreement ("GFA"), pursuant to which the release under license of political prisoners such as Ciaran Ferry was designed to boost the peace process. See GFA Section 10(2). Dornan stated: "The British and Irish governments have implicitly recognized the political nature of the offenses for which
Ciaran was convicted. Moreover, prisoners released under license following the Good Friday Agreement have clearly been found not to be a danger to society. Low level officials of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") should not be allowed to turn the terms of an international agreement on its head."

Heaven Ferry said, "My own government seems quite prepared to send me and my two year old daughter back to a country where a death threat has been issued against my husband and family. How can this government maintain that Ciaran poses any harm to society? If there's any `harm,' it is directed at me and my daughter. We deserve the full protection of our courts and our government, not persecution."

The Ferry's are nevertheless hopeful that current political support for Ciaran's case will soon filter down to the prison authorities in Denver and secure his release. Heaven says, "I am still holding out hope that political good will can intervene. But every day that my young daughter is deprived of her father is 24 hours too many."

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