Belfast Telegraph

Call to probe jail conditions

By Deborah McAleese
25 February 2005

The Human Rights Commission has been asked to investigate allegations that republican prisoners are being forced to endure increasingly poor conditions in Maghaberry jail.

Major concern has been aired by the Republican Prisoners Action Group over issues including excessive strip searches, 23-hour lock ups, and poor access to a doctor.

A delegation from the group has met with NIHRC chief commissioner Professor Brice Dickson to highlight the "deteriorating conditions" within the jail.

A spokesperson said the situation was a concerted by British authorities effort to criminalise republican prisoners.

"We are asking that the NIHRC seek to highlight these grievances and again seek access to the prison so they can both speak to the prisoners and assess at first hand the attempts by the prison authorities to infringe on the human rights of our prisoners."

The NIHRC assured the delegation they were concerned about the issues and have undertaken to visit republican prisoners in Maghaberry.

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