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2 April 2012 Edition

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Release Marian Price

SINN FÉIN REPEATS CALL AFTER VISITING HYDEBANK PRISON

‘We again call for the immediate release of Marian Price. There is no justification whatsoever for her continued detention’ Jennifer McCann, Sinn Féin MLA

SINN FÉIN MLA Jennifer McCann has repeated the party’s call for Marian Price to be released. The Belfast Assembly member was speaking after a visit to Hydebank Prison last month.

Price is being held after British Secretary of State Owen Paterson revoked her licence from a jail sentence in the 1970s. The west Belfast woman had been released on a ‘Royal Prerogative of Mercy’ in 1980 after she became seriously ill suffering from anorexia and tuberculosis while in Armagh Jail.

McCann was accompanied on her visit by Fermanagh/South Tyrone MLA Seán Lynch. The two former POWs met with prison officials and inspected Marian Price’s living conditions. She is being held in isolation after refusing to mix with other female prisoners.

Having earlier met with an SDLP MLA, Price refused to meet the Sinn Féin representatives.   Jennifer McCann, who is a member of the Assembly’s Justice Committee, said Sinn Féin is against the revoking of licences and has stated that if there is any evidence against someone it should be brought before a court of law.

“We again call for the immediate release of Marian Price. Given the fact that she has been bailed on the charges she was originally arrested for, there is no justification whatsoever for her continued detention. Sinn Féin is against the revoking of licences and if there is any evidence against someone it should be brought before a court of law,” said the West Belfast MLA.

Seán Lynch said Price should be released immediately, given her medical condition.

“Unfortunately, Marian Price again refused to meet us. We met with prison officials and discussed and inspected her living conditions,” said the Fermanagh republican. 

“Her continued detention is a serious concern given her condition and she should be released immediately so that her medical needs can be addressed adequately.”

Subsequently in the Assembly, Jennifer McCann pushed the North’s Justice Minister, David Ford, about moving Marian Price to an outside hospital because of her medical condition.

“The bottom line is that Marian Price’s present medical condition can not be adequately treated in jail and she should be moved to an outside hospital. The Justice Minister has the authority to make this move and should do it immediately.”

Jennifer McCann also welcomed the commitment by Ford to initiate a pilot for ‘full body imaging scanners’ in jails in the North.

“While David Ford did not give a date for when this will be implemented, we welcome movement to end the unnecessary and humiliating practice of strip-searching.”

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