Issue 2 - 2024 200dpi

20 November 1997 Edition

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Abolish the RUC

The advice offered by the Chairperson of the Northern Ireland Police Federation against reforms in the RUC has deeply angered Northern nationalists. It demonstrates the level of resistance there is within the paramilitary force to even minimal reforms and shows the contempt with which they hold the views of nationalists.

Les Rodgers described those who did not support the RUC as ranging from ``disaffected irreformable criminals and terrorists and those who support them''.

He claimed it was the wrong time for any review of policing in the Six Counties and condemned what he termed the ``awful rush to move us forward''.

Rodgers excused his comments by referring to non-existent evidence that the IRA cessation was looking uncertain. This despite the fact that the British government istelf admitted this week that the IRA cessation is holding firm.

It is clear that Rodgers is firmly within the `securocrat' faction which is resisting any moves towards demilitarisation in the Six Counties and will use whatever arguments, no matter how bogus, to avoid any ``movement forward'', as he said himself.

Rodgers' remarks betray the real views of the force he represents. They merely point up the total unacceptability of the RUC and underline the fact that the force has nothing of value to offer towards the building of a new future on this island. Nothing short of the RUC's total abolition will be evidence of a real commitment to change.


Róisín - no case to answer

Róisín McAliskey has now been in prison for a year. The German Federal Police have no reason to suspect her of involvement in any offence. Yet since her arrest Róisin McAliskey has spent six months in jails in Britain in such inhumane conditions as warranted an international outcry, and an urgent action appeal by Amnesty International.

Róisín and her daughter Loinnir are now resident in a psychiatric hospital, being treated for the cumulative effect of the trauma of arrest, interrogation, prison, degradation and cruelty. as well as a physically difficult pregnancy.

A year after Róisín McAliskey's nightmare began it shows no sign of ending. The judge dealing with her case says he intends to order her extradition but that he cannot do so until she is well enough to attend the court. This could take many months but in the meantime her lawyers cannot take the next step which is to appeal to a higher court or the British Home Secretary against her extradition.

The injustice and inhumanity perpetratrated against Róisín McAliskey is being done in the name of the Federal Reublic of Germany. In the interests of justice and human rights the German government must withdraw the extradition request.

The British government also has responsibilities in relation to the ongoing trauma inflicted on Róisín in their jurisdiction. The British should refuse the extradition in view of the clear lack of evidence.

The Dublin government too must endeavour to protect Róisín's human rights and raise the implications of the injustice with both the British and German governments.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1