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2 October 1997 Edition

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Concern for Irish prisoners in US

Three Irish political prisoners in the United States have been separated, and one put in solitary confinement for the second time in a week.

Kevin Barry Artt was moved from the Pleasanton Federal Detention Center near Dublin, California, on 18 September, his birthday, and has been denied medical treatment for a long-standing dental problem.

Meanwhile, Pól Brennan was moved to solitary confinement in FDC, Pleasanton on Sunday, 29 September, after refusing to do prison work. It was the second time prison officials demanded Brennan take part in the prison work programme and the second time he refused, saying that as a remand prisoner he should not have to do prison work. Both times he was sent to the "hole" for punishment.

Terry Kirby remains in FDC Pleasanton, but has been moved to the "pre-trial" wing where prisoners are not required to work. Efforts to separate the three began shortly after they were visited by Sinn Féin Ard Chomhairle member Martin McGuinness, MP.

Artt, Brennan and Kirby had been housed together for some weeks after their bail was revoked in August. They were among 38 republican prisoners who escaped from Long Kesh in 1983. All are from Belfast.

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