4 November 1999 Edition

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Derry man fears for his life

A COUNTY DERRY nationalist fears for his safety after he was stopped and harassed by the RUC.

`Michael' (not his real name - he wishes to remain anonymous) says he is worried that the RUC men, believed to be Special Branch members, may have been following him. The incident happened as the man drove along the Windyhill Road between Coleraine and Limavady in north County Derry at 1pm last Thursday, 28 October. As he drove into a laneway to turn, an unmarked car with four men in civilian clothes pulled in behind him.

One man approached Michael and flashed an ID card. He claimed to be from the RUC's traffic branch, but the Derry man didn't believe him.

``The four men in the car were young and were all wearing civilian clothing. Although the one who approached me did ask for my MOT certificate, he didn't seem too worried about the car,'' he said.

Michael complained that this RUC man, who was young and slightly built, smelt strongly of drink and was aggressive in manner. None of the other three left their vehicle.

Earlier this year, Michael, who lives in isolated area, was visited by the RUC and told that his life was in danger from the Orange Volunteers. The RUC members who visited his home were reluctant to give him any details, demanding instead that he go to Garvagh RUC Barracks. He refused to do so, believing the RUC may have been trying to entrap him.

``I took the threat seriously,'' Michael said, ``as this area has seen a lot of loyalist activity over the years. I am now worrying that the RUC may be monitoring my movements. There is no doubt in my mind that these four were Special Branch members and I want to know what they want with me.''

An Phoblacht
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