Monday, 23 March 2009

Ireland: Colin Duffy to refuse food

Below is a statement from the family of Colin Duffy, one of the Irish republicans arrested after the recent attacks in the six counties, stating that he is refusing to take food in protest over the injustice of his case.

**UPDATE: Since posting this, the news has come out of prisoners in Maghaberry prison going on hunger strike in solidarity with the Antrim Interrogation centre prisoners (including Duffy), currently being held under UK terror laws that allow 28 day internment without trial.
It also appears that the killings that sparked this whole fiasco have had at least one positive effect.**

**UPDATE 2: After a Belfast court overturned the police order allowing the ongoing detention of Duffy and five others, forcing their release, Colin Duffy has been re-arrested. See the comments section below for his family's response.


Colin Duffy to refuse food: Statement from Duffy Family

COLIN DUFFY - A CASE OF TRIAL BY MEDIA
OPPOSE THE NEW FORM OF INTERNMENT

In the immediate aftermath of the fatal shootings in Antrim and Craigavon, the media and some local politicians hysterically engaged in what can only be described as frenzy of finger pointing and ‘felon setting’.

As each politician and reporter attempted to outdo the comments of each other regarding who may have been responsible, a deliberate picture was painted that resulted in the media and politicians identifying who ought to be arrested. Our family member Colin was one of those and, in due course, the PSNI obliged.

Colin’s arrest came as no surprise to us, his family. Due to the unsubstantiated comments made by sections of the media and by Stormont politicians, it was our great fear and worry that he would be ‘set up’ as a scapegoat. Our family’s concerns and worries have been reinforced by two very important facts that both the media and politicians have failed to report or comment upon.

Firstly, Colin was visited at his home four days home before his arrest by the PSNI to inform him that a threat had been made on his life. The PSNI photographed Colin at his front door.

Why did the PSNI not arrest him then?

Secondly, following his arrest, Colin’s legal representative was astounded to be informed that the arrest was “not based on evidence”. In the absence of any evidential basis for his arrest, it is clear that the PSNI had other sinister motivations for detaining him.

It is the view of his family that the PSNI’s motivations are based upon sheer vindictiveness and also as a reaction to the media frenzy.

It was similar vindictiveness, spurred on by a hostile media, which led to the wrongful arrest and lengthy imprisonment of innocent people in the past such the Birmingham Six, the Maguire Family and the Guildford Four. More recently, we have witnessed, in the cases of Sean Hoey and Chris Ward exactly what the PSNI are capable of.

How many more people will be wrongfully detained for prolonged periods of time under the new form of internment before someone says “Stop, not in my name’?

While the Duffy family are calling for Colin's release, we are also fully aware that there are others detained under the current British legislation which can hold them for 28 days. We would like to take this opportunity to call for their immediate release also.

Colin has now been detained since Saturday March 14th. In an attempt to bring this ‘farce’ to an end, he is now refusing to take food in order to highlight the injustice he is suffering.

We have all been down this road before and know where it can end unless true leadership is shown.

Justice is a right. It is not a gift to be given or removed from citizens by a police force acting at the behest of local politicians and the media.

Please do whatever you can to ensure that Colin receives justice NOW!

STAND UP FOR JUSTICE! FREE COLIN DUFFY!

9 comments:

daza1973uk said...

It would be more of an injustice if the soldiers bound for Afghanistan were allowed to be murdered in cold blood and then Colin Duffy (the organiser) be allowed to get away with it. Who cares if he's the one who pulled the trigger. He also murdered 2 police officer's in Lurgan in 97.

Red Wombat said...

Firstly, I believe the point is that if there is evidence that Duffy committed or organised the attacks (or one of them), then he should be charged, and the evidence presented.

This hasn't happened. No evidence has been forthcoming. No charges have been formally laid against him. And he has been interned without trial or charge for a period that could last up to 28 days.

This is an injustice for so long as we still hold to the premise "innocent unless proven guilty". The same goes for the charges against him from 97.

Secondly, while I believe it's counterproductive for everyone if violence were to break out in Ireland again, I don't especially mourn the deaths of the 2 soldiers, who were on their way from occupying one country to occupying another. Naturally, I's a great shame that they died, and I sympathise with their families, but we should keep this in context.

Alison Turner said...
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Red Wombat said...

The above comment is not particularly helpful, and is at best misleading.

While it appears that Duffy has now been arrested (a court ruled that the detainees were being held illegally, which should give detractors a hint) immediately after his release, there is still no evidence forthcoming.

The point of raising Omagh with no reference to the present circumstances is what, exactly...? To point to the last time an attack was carried out in the hope that some of the guilt associated that horrific tragedy will attach to Duffy and the other detainees?

Would it make any more sense for me to quote details of loyalist butchery or the violence and torture meted out by Special Branch or RUC officers over the years?

It's worth reminding those of you with a short memory (or no interest in pursing the facts) that both the Irish Police and MI5 (at the very least) had prior warning of Omagh, and chose to do nothing to prevent the horror that unfolded.

Red Wombat said...

Here is the Duffy family statement on Colin's re-arrest:

Family of Colin Duffy call for his immediate release

Our family has always believed from the outset that Colin’s original arrest and prolonged detention was motivated by vindictiveness on the part of the PSNI.

Today’s action by the PSNI in re-arresting Colin, after the High Court had ruled that his continued detention was unlawful, shows the complete disregard which the PSNI has for the justice system and for the European Convention of Human Rights.

It demonstrates the length that the PSNI are prepared to go in order to conduct this vendetta against Colin.

It also demonstrates that the PSNI believe themselves to be above the courts. It is clear that the PSNI is not accountable to either politicians or to the courts.

Colin has previously been the victim of persecution by the state and its forces which included previous periods of imprisonment which were proven to be completely unjustified. It should not be forgotten that this campaign of persecution also involved a murder attempt which resulted in the death of a close family friend, Sam Marshall. It later emerged in court that one of the vehicles involved in that murder belonged to British military intelligence.

We call for his immediate release and are appealing to all those interested in justice to support us in our campaign to return Colin safely home to his wife, children and wider family.

Alison Turner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alison Turner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TiernaMcGeown said...

Colin Duffy is being used as a scapegoat which I think in this day and age is a disgrace but I`m sure he is used to it and he will know like everyone does that he is being set up. The RUC have set their sights on Colin as he is an easy target and therefor set him up. Any Irish woman or man with a brain can see this. In my opinion if there is any justice in this country which we do not see very much off then Colin Duffy should be released as he is INNOCENT. I am sickened by it. I feel for his family as they know he has been set up and they cannot do anything for him. But I know they will try everything they can to ensure the RUC do not win this one as they have put to many innocent catholics in jail in the past. Keep up the protesting for his realease. Tierna

TiernaMcGeown said...

Colin Duffy is being used as a scapegoat which I think in this day and age is a disgrace but I`m sure he is used to it and he will know like everyone does that he is being set up. The RUC have set their sights on Colin as he is an easy target and therefor set him up. Any Irish woman or man with a brain can see this. In my opinion if there is any justice in this country which we do not see very much off then Colin Duffy should be released as he is INNOCENT. I am sickened by it. I feel for his family as they know he has been set up and they cannot do anything for him. But I know they will try everything they can to ensure the RUC do not win this one as they have put to many innocent catholics in jail in the past. Keep up the protesting for his realease. Tierna