24 February 2000 Edition

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Pregnant woman refused bail

BY CAÍTLIN DOHERTY

The judiciary in the Six Counties has been slammed after a bail application by a pregnant woman was refused. The young lady, from West Belfast, was arrested during a series of dawn raids on homes in nationalist areas of the city last Wednesday, 16 February.

Upper Falls Sinn Féin councillor Michael Browne said the treatment of Brenda Coleman showed the contempt in which the judiciary holds the nationalist population in the Six Counties.

``When we compare the treatment of this woman with that of former loyalist death squad member William Stobie, we can clearly see the double standards which the judiciary applies when dealing with nationalists,'' he said. ``Stobie, a self-confessed British agent who admitted participating in the killing of Belfast human rights lawyer Pat Finucane, is immediately given bail when charged. However, when a young pregnant nationalist, protesting her innocence, faces the courts, she is automatically turned down for bail.''

Browne added: ``The judiciary through their actions past and present, have shown that they, and the system which they represent, are rotten to the core and only a complete overhaul of both will offer the nationalist people any hope of equality before the law. This, in itself, is a basic human right.''

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1
Ireland
 

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