Wisconsion’s Zach Gevelinger released after nine days in the North of Iredand.



Story Updated: Jul 15, 2013

BELFAST, NI-On Monday, Northern Irish Police released a statement saying that a man in his 20’s arrested after visiting a female prisoner July 6th, had been released from detention on the 15th.

CBS 58 News has confirmed that the man they are referring to is one time UW-Platteville student Zach Gevelinger.

Communications Director Gordon Fyffe said “A man aged in his 20s, who was arrested in the Belfast area on  Saturday 6 July by Detectives from PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch investigating dissident republican activity, has today (Monday 15 July) been released pending a report to the PPS.”

PPS stand for Public Prosecution Service.

Gevelinger’s attorney told Allison Morris of the Irish News in Belfast that Gevelinger was hospitalized Saturday after suffering some sort of seizure.

On Friday, one day after CBS 58 News reported on the arrest of a UW Platteville student in Northern Ireland his aunt issued a statement.

24 year old Zachary Gevelinger from Dodgeville, Wisconsin was apparently arrested this week in Northern Ireland.

In the written statement, Jan Gevelinger said:

“Zachary Gevelinger has neither committed nor been charged with any crime.

We fully expect that Zach will be released very soon.

The family asks that you respect their privacy, and will have no further comment.”

The Irish News in Belfast ran an article saying he was detained after visiting with a woman who has been charged with throwing a pipe bomb at two police officers in Belfast.

Gevelinger’s grandmother told CBS 58 News that she had no details about what happened.

Northern Irish media is reporting that Gevelinger’s computer and other items were seized as part of a search of his hotel room.

An Independent lawmaker who was  formerly with the Sinn Fein party, which is sympathetic to the Republican cause of Britain out of Ireland, told reporters in Belfast that Gevelinger was a pen pal to Christine Connor.

Connor is facing charges of attempted homicide and possession of pipe bombs.

None of the media coverage of her case indicates that she is affiliated with any terrorist organizations.

The serious crimes division is said to have brought Gevelinger into custody as part of an investigation into Republican dissident activity.

Local journalists tells CBS 58 News that nine days of questioning, even by Northern Ireland standards, seems excessive.

Donal O’Meadhra who runs a United States based organization to provide pen pals and support to prisoners in Northern Ireland tells CBS 58 News that Gevelinger was on a humanitarian mission.

“Could you imagine what would happen if this happened anywhere but the UK?” O’Meadhra said, “Yanira Maldonado was all over FOX and CNN in May when she was arrested in Mexico

US visiter arrested at women’s prison in dissident probe

‘His only crime appears to be being online friends with someone who is perceived to be a republican – Angela Nelson.

A US university student visiting a penpal in Hydebank women’s prison has been arrested by detectives investigating dissident republican activity. Zach Gevelinger was arrested after visiting Christine Connor who is on remand accused of trying to kill two police officers in a pipe-bomb attack

* PENPAL: Zach Gevelinger (24) was arrested as he left Hydebank after visiting Christine Connor who is on remand charged with possessing pipe bombs.


Ms Connor (27) appeared before Belfast Magistrates Court last month charged with two counts of attempted murder and possession of pipe bombs in relation to an attack on police in the Ballysillan area on May 28. Although it is believed that Mr Gevelinger, from Wisconsin, had been ccommunicating with the North Belfast woman on social networking sites prior to her aarrest, this was his first meeting with her. He arrived in Dublin last Wednesday before traveling north. He made contact with Ms Connor’s mother who arranged a prison visit with her daughter for Saturday afternoon. However, afterwards Mr Gevelinger was met in the car park of Hydebank Wood detention centre, on the outskirts of south Belfast, by detectives from the serious crime unit and taken to Antrim Police Station for questioning.

Police searched a room at Benedict’s Hotel in south Belfast where he had been staying and seized his belongings, which included ccomputer equipment. FREE ZACHARY GEVELINGERThe US consulate in Belfast is liaising with the PSNI which successfully applied for an extension on Monday to hold the 24-year-old for a further 72 hours. Independent Lisburn councillor Angela Nelson has been in contact with the consulate on Mr Gevelinger’s behalf. “This is a young man who was visiting Ireland as a tourist. His only alleged crime appears to be being online friends with someone who is perceived to be a republican,” she said. “He has now been held since Saturday using draconian anti-terrorist legislation in a strange country without any family support. He should be released immediately.” A police spokesman said officers from the serious crime branch had been “granted a further 72 hours to question a man in his twenties arrested in the Belfast area on Saturday July 6”. Last month Lesley Concannon (32) from the US state of West Virgina was released on £25,000 bail after being charged in connection with dissident republican activity. The Zumba teacher was charged with her husband Kevin Barry Concannon (39) after police raided their home at Beachwood Avenue in Derry. The court was told that Ms Concannon first came to Ireland onholiday three years ago and meet her future husband during that visit.

With many thanks to : Allison Morris, The Irish News.

Zachary Gelevinger, is a young man from Wisconsin in the USA. Who arrived in Belfast on Wednesday to enjoy a long-timed planned first trip to Ireland, the home of his Grandmother and a lifetime dream that has turned into a nightmare !!!


HARK:Northern Ireland Human Rights Initiative


Zachary had been corresponding with Political Prisoner Christine Connor and as a gesture of kindness, had organised a visit with Christine on her birthday, arranged by Christine’s mother.

This act of good will was forever tarnished when the visit was cut short and Zachary was taken out of the visit by the PSNI in handcuffs under suspicion of “Dissident Activity.”

Please note again that Zachary had not stepped foot in Ireland until Wednesday.

The American Embassy was not contacted as is proper procedure and in fact when outside sources contacted the US Stated Department at the Embassy, their calls to speak with Zachary weren’t allowed through…again violating International Law.

Zachary suffers from epilepsy and may not have access to his medicines.

His case has been picked up by the law practice of Madden and Finucane and just this morning the police were granted an additional 72 hours to hold Zachary for questioning by a Belfast Judge.

What we have here is the arrogance of the PSNI at it’s most disgraceful.

Citizens in the North of Ireland have lived with constant violations of human rights by the police for longer than anyone can remember, but now visitors to the North can be arrested and held for dissident activity, even if they have never set foot in Ireland before?

By arresting a foreign citizen visiting Ireland on holiday, the PSNI have shown that as we’ve seen in the recent actions in the April appeal of Brendan McConville and John Paul Woottton, that they are answerable to no one, that they feel that they are above the law.

In this new atrocity, in ignoring the US State Department and not following proper International procedure, they are showing that the feel they are even above International law.

I beg you, do not remain silent in this case.

Zachary Gelevinger came to Belfast to visit the land of his birth and sets in chains because he chose to reach out to a Political Prisoner on her birthday.

A lot of words have been tossed around lately about this horror.

Outrage. Unjust. Evil.

There are no words to describe what this man in his early 20’s is going through and absolutely no description to describe the arrogance and vanity of the PSNI in arresting a visiting citizen from America.

If a citizen from another country has no rights in the North of Ireland, how does NI ever expect to become anything but isolated and alone?

We suffer enough in the fight to bring awareness of our own continuing human rights violations and governmental challenges to the rest of the world.

We can not allow the same to start happening to visitors and tourists.

You might as well lock the borders and toss away the key.

Please share Zachary’s story everywhere you can.

Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere just became a reality when newly arrived global visitors can be treated as dissidents.

HARK:Northern Ireland Human Rights Initiative