PUBLIC MEETING ON THE ONGOING INTERNMENT OF MARIAN PRICE !

POSTED ON BEHALF OF : Friend’s Event · By Ursula Ní Sheanáin

The growth of secret ’evidence’ and the case of Marian Price

The Detail

Daniel Holder is Deputy Director of the CAJ

Daniel Holder is Deputy Director of the CAJ

There were two significant reminders last week about the creeping use of secret ‘evidence.’ The first was the continued imprisonment of Marian McGlinchey (née Price) despite her three co-accused walking free when a judge threw out charges against all four. Marian Price was technically speaking already ‘out on bail’ in relation to these charges (which the Prosecution Service may now seek to resurrect). Her continued imprisonment relates not to a decision by a Court, but a separate procedure involving a government Minister and a Commission which can rely on secret evidence.

The second reminder was the UK Coalition Government’s inclusion of an ominously titled ‘Justice and Security Bill’ within the list of laws it announced it would introduce in the next Parliamentary session. The Bill would allow government Ministers to instruct ‘CMPs’ – Closed Material Procedures (i.e. secret evidence) be used in civil court processes. Our local circumstances were not for once the impetus for such a dramatic change (although as it could include the likes of ‘Troubles’ Inquests, it would have serious repercussions here). The move is in response to MI5/6 involvement in ‘war on terror’ practices such as ‘extraordinary rendition’ (i.e. the kidnap, torture and unlawful detention of persons) being increasingly challenged in Court, and in particular the compensation settlements being paid to Guantanamo Bay detainees. The Government argues it needs CMPs in order to allow secret trials to protect ‘national security. ’ They also conveniently reduce the potential to hold the Security Services accountable for malpractice or human rights abuses in which they are implicated.

There is general outrage from human rights groups over the proposals. Amidst this, we should not lose sight of the fact that secret evidence procedures already exist– many piloted and specific to this jurisdiction. Persons who have their fair employment discrimination claims blocked by a ‘national security certificate’ issued by the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) can only have their claims heard in a ‘special tribunal’ involving secret evidence – which predates its better known counterpart tribunal for persons subject to ‘Control Orders.’ CAJhas asked under the Freedom of Information Act how many certificates have been issued and how often the ‘special tribunal’ has convened – only to be told that the NIO ‘did not record’ such information. Should you be subject to such processes, you can expect that both you, your lawyer, and the public will be excluded from your court hearing. Secret ‘evidence’, usually based on security force intelligence data, is then presented against you, which you cannot challenge. A ‘Special Advocate’ is appointed to represent you but cannot discuss the secret ‘evidence’ with you. At best, you and your representatives are given a ‘gist’ of what is being alleged.

Similar procedures also apply for recalling to prison persons with conflict-related convictions who were released under the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. Such releases were ‘under licence,’ conditional on no re-involvement in paramilitary activity. The question which arises is how the conclusion is reached that someone has returned to such activity. The decision is not on the basis of a fresh conviction for a similar serious offence proved beyond reasonable doubt in a competent court, but rather a variation of the above CMPprocess involving the NIO, Secretary of State and a Commission, which can rely on secret ‘evidence’ in a closed ‘Special Advocate’ procedure. Marian Price was released long before the 1998 Agreement, having been convicted of bombing the Old Bailey in 1973, but issued with a royal pardon in 1980. A similar process exists under the Life Sentences (Northern Ireland) Order 2001 whereby the NIO Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, can provide the Parole Commissioners with evidence and invite them to make a recommendation to return an individual to prison. Such decisions can also be based on secret ‘evidence,’ including intelligence data, and do not require a conviction or even a charge. At worst, therefore, the process could be used selectively against ex-prisoners engaged in political activity outside the mainstream, rather than just against those genuinely involved in unlawful activity.

The case of Marian Price is particularly striking, as on the same day a Judge released her on bail in May 2011, a government Minister returned her to prison. There are other due process issues in relation to this case, not least the fact she was given a pardon under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy. The NIO claims this document only related to Marian Price’s fixed term and not life sentence for which a licence applied. Her family contest that the pardon related to both, and hence believe that the NIO had no licence to revoke. It would seem a relatively simple matter for the NIO to produce the document to settle the matter. However, apparently the pardon and all copies of it have gone ‘missing.’ Given that it could possibly change a decision as to whether a person is deprived of their liberty, one would think an investigation would have taken place as to how and when the information disappeared. CAJ has been told that the NIO have decided not to investigate this on the grounds that the pardon is ‘not relevant’ to this case. Whilst decisions in ‘special tribunals’ are made on the basis of evidence that defendants cannot see, it is difficult to understand how the NIO reached this conclusion without itself viewing the document.

The dangers of secret ‘evidence’ within the justice system were set out succinctly in the case of Al Rawi, and others v the Security Services. Here, the government tried to argue that legal norms over the years (the ‘common law’) meant that it had a right to hold civil trials in secret, despite no law permitting this. The UK Supreme Court threw this out, with Lord Kerr arguing that the “right to be informed of the case made against you is not merely a feature of the adversarial system of trial, it is an elementary and essential prerequisite of fairness.”

It is this case that has led to the present Justice and Security Bill introducing CMPs. In response, Special Advocates themselves have argued CMPs “represent a departure from the foundational principle of natural justice that all parties are entitled to see and challenge all the evidence relied upon before the court and to combat that evidence by calling evidence of their own.” Put simply, evidence cannot be relied upon if you cannot challenge it.

CAJ expressed concerns about the CMP proposals, given our experience that measures which effectively bypass rule of law standards and establish, in essence, a parallel justice system, lead to human rights abuses which can exacerbate conflict as well as contributing to the growing marginalisation of ‘suspect communities.’ A further problem highlighted above is that secret evidence tends to consist of intelligence data which the Police themselves are often keen to (rightly) point out does not necessarily constitute evidence. However, under the present recall arrangements, ‘intelligence’ can effectively be used as ‘evidence’ to put an ex-prisoner behind bars.

This is of course not the first time that intelligence rather than evidence has been used to imprison; previous policies of mass arrest and internment involved lists of suspects based on ‘intelligence’ data. The lesson needs to be learned that illegitimate state practices outside the standard rule of law do not prevent but rather fuel conflict. Further growth in procedures allowing secret ‘evidence’ would have serious consequences, but in Marian Price’s case, such consequences are already apparent.

Daniel Holder is Deputy Director of the Committee on the Administration of Justice

CAJ wrote a detailed response in January 2012 to the ‘Justice and Security’ Green Paper setting out the organisations concerns about the proposals – this is availablehere

WITH MANY THANKS TO : THE DETAIL.

FREE MARIAN PRICE DUBLIN CAMPAIGN

FREE MARIAN PRICE DUBLIN CAMPAIGN

 
 
Saturday
  •  
    20:00
  •   FREE MARIAN PRICE DUBLIN CAMPAIGN A FUNDRAISING NIGHT ON SAT 12th MAY IN THE BOTTOM OF THE HILL FINGLAS DUBLIN FEATURING ERIN GO BRAGH ( DUBLIN BRIGADE ) PLUS SPECIAL GUESTS THERE WILL ALSO A RAFFEL ON THE NIGHT DOORS OPEN AT 8pm ALL WELCOME YOU CAN ALSO PAY AT THE DOOR

December, 2000: Former Hunger Strikers Brendan Hughes and Marian Price in solidarity with the death fast prisoners in Turkey

December, 2000: Former Hunger Strikers Brendan Hughes and Marian Price in solidarity with the death fast prisoners in Turkey“Former Hunger strikers Brendan Hughes and Marian Price were there in solidarity with the hunger strikersin Turkey, over 30 of whom have now been murdered, along with many other prisoners who have lost their lives.”L-R Brendan Hughes, Unknown (please let us know if it’s you), Marian Price, Davy Carlin
 — with Marian Price.
POSTED ON BEHALF OF :   FamilyandFriendsof BrendanHughes.

Justice for Marian Price

“It’s in the nature of this judicial system that one is condemned not only in innocence but also in ignorance.” – Kafka’s The Trial.

The treatment of Marian Price is a scenario akin to one described in Kafka’s novel, The Trial, whereby it describes the prisoner’s arrest, imprisonment, and prosecution by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed to neither him nor the reader. Similarily Marian Price finds herself in this situation.

The justification of Marian Price’s imprisonment has been claimed by British Secretary of State Owen Patterson, to be on the revocation of her licence, dating back to 1980. This is contrary to the fact that Marian’s release was on the basis of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy due to life threatening illness after serving a lengthy prison sentence.

The British authorities have stated that they have shredded her pardon, a document which would have secured her release according to her solicitor Peter Corrigan. Questions must be raised as to why this document was shredded, thirty years after it was issued and at the time when it would have been admitted as evidence for any subsequent hearing in relation to her imprisonment and revocation of her licence.

Subsequently, Marian Price is suffering from serious health issues, a direct consequence of nine months of isolation in an all male prison. She has since been referred to the healthcare centre at Hydebank Wood where all female prisoners are imprisoned. It has been alleged that the recent move for Marian Price came as a result of clinical advice given by the South Eastern Healthcare Trust.

At a recent meeting, in regard to the Plight of Marian Price a panel of guests including Peter Corrigan, Marian Price’s Solicitor, Bernadette McAliskey, Monsignor Raymond Murray and others discussed the situation of Marian Price and the conclusion became apparent that we must all call for the release of Marian Price, and stand against Interment by Revocation of Licence.

WITH MANY THANKS TO : The Irish Law & Democracy Committee

FREE THE IRISH MARIAN PRICE

A Chairde there are 4,225 people petitioning for Marian Price at the following CAUSES on Facebook, which have been censored and  the active administrators all removed, censored or blocked by British intelligence and their agents in Ireland. We will carry on with this petition here on CARE2.

British intelligence in Ireland whose activities in mentored, state sponsored loyalist assassination and murder is rarely documented but now they have gone rogue. Besides being involved in drug rackets all over Ireland, they are engaged in politically shaping all political parties and their agendas on all of the island.

While Labour has been bought and paid for by the unions who are already compromised, Fine Gael, bought and paid for by the culchies and Fianna Fail bought and paid for by everybody, their latest projected replacement PSF are paid and run by British intelligence. 

The British Intelligence-Industrial-War complex in Ireland, have a vested interest in prolonging the last 40 years of troubles with the internment of traditional Irish republicans like Marian Price and other Irish republicans released under the Weston Park part of the peace agreement as provocation.

 The Process has now been broken in no uncertain terms by the Tories with the secret collaboration of Provisional Sinn Fein, who have a vested interest in silencing all alternative peace formulae other than their own monopoly, bringing Ireland back into the British Commonwealth to conclude the process. 

 The Political internment of Marian Price without trial is a critical part and provocative part of this. Pseudo republican groups, along with modern media techniques, such as astroturfing, drug-wars, smear, dis-information, provocateurs, division, are all Kitson tools, which are part of British intelligence techniques and their media war on all matters genuinely Irish in Ireland currently. 

 The activities of British Intelligence Gone Rogue, are not confined to Ireland, even their own Baroness Thatcher would accept their control of the British media is the real issue hidden by the prosecution of Murdoch, with their Tribunal window dressing. 

The following are just some of the CAUSES on Facebook censored as a result of the work of their agents.

STOP THE RAPE OF MARIAN PRICE

Members 1,711

BRITISH MEDIA CENSORSHIP OF IRELAND & MARIAN PRICE

Members 315

BBC DEMOCRACY LIVE MARIAN PRICE DEBATE IS SECTARIAN BIGOTRY(Cause)

Members 270

BRITISH CENSORED CAUSE TO STOP TORTURE OF MARIAN PRICE 1,549 MEMBERS RISES AGAIN

Members 570

Join 4,000+ Petitions on International Women’s Day FREE INTERNED MARIAN PRICE ! 

Members 166

FREE PRICE in British Occupied Ireland(Cause)

Members 458

FREE INTERNED INNOCENT IRISH ANGEL IN BRITISH OCCUPIED IRELAND

Members 635

A QUESTION OF HONOUR ?..your..ahem..majesty ?

In 1981, the wishes of hunger strikers, including IRA prisoner Bobby Sands MP, were respected and doctors supervised political death-fasts in Occupied Ireland by political prisoners demanding their international rights as Irish POWs refused by Margaret Thatcher. However Marian Price and her sister Dolours Price who were on hunger strike for 200 days were force fed 400 times while their comrades Michael Gaughan and Frank Stagg died, which Marian described as follows:
“Four male prison officers tie you into the chair so tightly with sheets you can’t struggle,” says Price.

“You clench your teeth to try to keep your mouth closed but they push a metal spring device around your jaw to prise it open. They force a wooden clamp with a hole in the middle into your mouth. Then, they insert a big rubber tube down that. They hold your head back. You can’t move. They throw whatever they like into the food mixer – orange juice, soup, or cartons of cream if they want to beef up the calories. They take jugs of this gruel from the food mixer and pour it into a funnel attached to the tube. The force-feeding takes 15 minutes but it feels like forever. You’re in control of nothing. You’re terrified the food will go down the wrong way and you won’t be able to let them know because you can’t speak or move. You’re frightened you’ll choke to death. “Most modern doctors conclude that forcible feeding is a form of torture. The intention, however by the British to cover situations in which prisoners are repeatedly tortured and have attempted to die by hunger-strike to avoid the continuation of their torture. Just as doctors are sometimes advised not to revive Irish political prisoners simply to allow their torture to continue, they are advised not to force-feed prisoners so that they can be maltreated and interrogated. The European Convention on Human Rights prohibits “degrading” treatment in Article 3. The patient’s right to refuse treatment should be respected.

In 1980 Marian Price received the Royal Prerogative of Mercy and was freed on humanitarian grounds after suffering from anorexia nervosa in 1981, as a direct result of being force fed by the British. Marian Price a vocal opponent of the Bad Friday Agreement has said: “It is not, certainly not, what I went to prison for.” On 15 May 2011, the un-elected Secretary of State for Occupied Ireland Owen Paterson smashed the Peace agreement and broke the Royal Prerogative by revoking her release from prison.

Her detention has been described as ‘de facto internment’ by Provisional Sinn Fein. Marian was imprisoned in solitary confinement in the all male prison of Maghaberry for what the British have termed operational reason but what was subsequently leaked, that in fact the British intended to force feed Marian again in the hospital wing of the prison, where she was politically interned in solitary confinement for 300 days of what the UN have called torture.
Marian’s lawyer, Peter Corrigan has told a court: “As part of that application we had written to the NIO seeking a copy of the actual pardon that was conferred on the defendant in 1981. To this date the NIO still have not served that important document on us, and it is central to us making an abuse of process application.”

The defence case is that terms of the pardon covered all of the offences for which Price was convicted in 1974, Mr Corrigan added. Her lawyers are seeking to establish there was no power for the pardon to be revoked. The judge emphasized that any documents required for a defence should be provided by the British who are accused of abuse of process as usual in Occupied Ireland. Meanwhile Marian’s other comrades continue to be tortured daily under the pretence of strip searching in the British gaol.

Twice, a judge with the precise same intelligence reports as the English Secretary of State ordered she be released on bail immediately as she was no threat to the public. The 58 year old Marian has publicly stated her days as a militant activist are long gone but she cannot condemn young people who fight to remove the British criminals from Occupied Ireland. However each and every time the Queen’s unelected Englishman has overruled the judge and ordered Marian Price be interned without trial. His excuse was that he was revoking her parole but Marian was not on parole because she received a royal pardon or the “Royal Prerogative of Mercy” when she was freed in 1980. She was then at death’s door from a hunger strike. She was force-fed more than 400 times on a hunger strike.

This unelected English autocrat in Occupied Ireland now says that the much publicized pardon which was common knowledge “cannot be located,” that it either has been lost or shredded. Marian’s lawyer Peter Corrigan told a public meeting that it is the only time in the history of Royal Prerogatives of Mercy that a pardon has been mislaid. Monsignor Raymond Murray a respected veteran human rights campaigner and spiritual chaplain, said, “You can draw your own conclusions.” Marian has been in solitary confinement for more than 300 days. The UN Spokesperson on Torture has said solitary confinement for more than 15 days is torture. Marian is locked in her cell 21 hours a day with a camera. She has no privacy because prison staff constantly go in and out of her cell. Male prison guards shine a light in her face at night so she can’t sleep.

Marian says she feels like she is “in a zoo.” Her husband, Jerry McGlinchey, says that he is “very, very worried” about her health. She has never recovered from her previous force-feeding, she suffers from such severe arthritis that she can’t open her hand. He believes her health will get worse while she is in solitary confinement. The Irish civil rights leader Bernadette Devlin McAliskey has told a meeting in Belfast, “From the government’s point of view it is a clear message that no dissent will be tolerated. You challenge the status quo at your peril.”
This internment without trial coupled with British sponsored or mentored murder of Human rights lawyers in occupied Ireland, along with blanket censorship, political paramilitary policing, prisoner torture has made post process Occupied Ireland a brutal military state for Irish people in their own land.

Marian Price may be a political prisoner of conscience in a British hell hole in Occupied Ireland for the rest of her life without the help of people who care. She is not the only one there are many more political prisoners of conscience in Ireland who were brave enough to speak out against British brutality and occupation.
This unelected English tyrant in Ireland, Owen Paterson can be e-mailed at patersono@parliament.uk to tell him to free Marian Price immediately. You may also join the other 4,225 petitioning on CAUSES Facebook to Organise, Agitate, Educate by going to a Bernadette McAliskey VIDEO AND OTHER IMPORTANT LINKS – http://bit.ly/MarianPriceLinks

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT ” SIGN THIS PETITION BELOW THANKYOU ” ….

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/free-the-irish-marian-price/ 

Marian Price needs our support

MARIAN PRICE could be in a British prison in Northern Ireland for the rest of her natural life. Unlike other political prisoners in the North, she has had no trial, no sentence, no release date, nor even a date when the Parole Commission will review her case. Unless the courts intervene, she will only be released by order of Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Owen Paterson.

Twice, Price has been arrested under Northern Ireland’s special security laws and brought before what is known as a Diplock Court, where no jury serves. Twice, a judge has ordered that she be released on bail.

Each time, Paterson overruled the judge and ordered Price back to prison. He said that he was revoking her license (parole). But Price was not actually on license. Convicted of bombings in Britain, she received a full royal pardon (the “Royal Prerogative of Mercy“) when she was freed in 1980 because she appeared to be on the brink of death from severe anorexia nervosa. The anorexia was the result of being force-fed more than 300 times when she was on hunger strike in a British prison.

The Northern Ireland Office now says the pardon “cannot be located”–that it has either been lost or shredded. Price’s lawyer Peter Corrigan recently told an overflow public meeting in Belfast that this is the only time in the history of the Royal Prerogative of Mercy that a pardon has gone missing. Monsignor Raymond Murray, the veteran human rights campaigner, said simply, “You can draw your own conclusions.”

Nevertheless, the Parole Commission sided with the Northern Ireland Office and refused to release Price. Her lawyers will be appealing the decision in court.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Send an e-mail to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Owen Paterson atpatersono@parliament.uk and ask him to free Marian Price immediately.

To learn more about the case and get the latest updates, go to the Free Marian Price website.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

PRICE IS being held in conditions designed to break her body and spirit. She has been in solitary confinement for more than 300 days. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture says solitary confinement for more than 15 days amounts to torture.

She is locked in her cell 21 hours a day. There is a camera in the cell. She has been told that it is switched off, but there is no way to know if that is true.

She has no privacy because prison staff constantly goes in and out of her cell. At night, male prison guards open a peephole and shine a light in her face so she can’t sleep. Marian has told relatives she feels like she is “in a zoo.”

Her husband, Jerry McGlinchey, recently told the WBAI show Radio Free Eireann, “My fear is that Marian will slip into a deep depression that it would take her years to come out of. I believe that is what the government intends.”

He previously said that he is “very, very worried” about her health. She has never recovered from the force-feeding. It caused tuberculosis that had to be treated in 2010, and she was due for a checkup when she was arrested. The anorexia has returned, and she suffers from such severe arthritis that she can’t even open her hand. McGlinchey believes that her health will get steadily worse as long as she is in solitary confinement.

Price is a dedicated Irish republican. She believes that it is necessary to wage an armed struggle to end British rule in Ireland.

But what is at stake is much more than Marian Price or her politics. As the Irish civil rights leader Bernadette Devlin McAlsikey told the Belfast meeting, “From the government’s point of view, this is a clear message that no dissent will be tolerated. You challenge the status quo at your peril.”

We can’t depend on the courts to free Marian Price. Each of us needs to help set her free. In the past month, hundreds of people have come to protest meetings in Derry and Belfast.

There is one very simple thing each of us can do today. We can e-mail Owen Paterson atpatersono@parliament.uk and tell him to free Marian Price immediately. This may be especially important for those of us who don’t live in Ireland. The British government has often proven very vulnerable to international pressure.

POSTED ON BEHALF OF : SocialistWorker.org

McGeough status update:

POLITICAL HOSTAGE !A Judge ruled yesterday that NIPS must review its decision to refuse permission, and set out a range of factors that NIPS must take into account. In light of his comments NIPS withdrew original letter to Mr McGeough which explained why his application had been refused and replaced it this morning with a further letter which addressed fully all the points that the judge had asked NIPS to cover. In these circumstances Mr Justice Stephens took the view that the original case had been overtaken by events and that if the new decision letter was to be challenged there would need to be fresh proceedings. The decision to refuse therefore stands.

POSTED ON BEHALF OF : Helen McClafferty

GERRY McGEOUGH JUDICIAL REVIEW/APPEAL PLEASE COME AND SHOW YOUR FULL SUPPORT !

POLITICAL HOSTAGE !

Gerry is expected to appear in court on Tuesday, February 28th when the judge hands down the decisions on both his Judicial Review and his Appeal. First decision will be on his Judicial Review approx. 9:30 am. The 2nd decision, with regard to his Appeal, will be handed down approx. 10:00 am.

We are asking for a massive turnout of supporters at the High court (old buildings opposite Laganside) by 9:00 am. Thank you

POSTED ON BEHALF OF :  Helen McClafferty

Gerry McGeough Justice Campaign

POLITICAL HOSTAGE !
 
 
 
 

As a Sinn Féin TD, could you and your party ask the British Governemnt to adhere to the Weston Park Agreement and to release Gerry McGeoughimmediately. Eamon O’Cuiv has already called for the release of Gerry McGeough based on humanitarian grounds alone.

gerry.adams@oireachtas.ie
michael.colreavy@oireachtas.ie
sean.crowe@oireachtas.ie
pearse.doherty@oireachtas.ie
dessie.ellis@oireachtas.ie
martin.ferris@oireachtas.ie
padraig.maclochlainn@oireachtas.ie
marylou.mcdonald@oireachtas.ie
sandra.mclellan@oireachtas.ie
caoimhghin.ocaolain@oireachtas.ie
aengus.osnodaigh@oireachtas.ie
jonathan.obrien@oireachtas.iebrian.stanley@oireachtas.ie
peadar.toibin@oireachtas.ie

What have you done today to help secure the release of Irish Patriot Gerry McGeough? If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem

POSTED ON BEHALF OF :  Helen McClafferty

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