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16 August 2001 Edition

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Colombia arrests

Sinn Féin has reacted to the arrest in Colombia of three Irish men which has been receiving sensationalist media coverage all week.

The party's national chairperson, Mitchel McLaughlin, confirmed that some of the men were known republicans but pointed out that ``people have been arrested but nobody has been charged. I think all of us know there is a propaganda dimension the way this information has been filtered out''.

Speaking later to An Phoblacht, Assembly chief whip Alex Maskey said the party was not aware what the men were doing in Colombia but he too was highly critical of the media, which he said had tried and convicted them before the full facts had emerged.

Maskey pointed out that the same British media had been highly critical of the parading before the cameras in Saudi Arabia of three Britons who had allegedly confessed to serious offences. He also pointed to the lack of media attention to the ongoing loyalist gun and bomb attacks on nationalists across the Six Counties.

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An Phoblacht
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