PRIGIONIERO REPUBBLICANO ENTRA NEL 42° GIORNO DI SCIOPERO DELLA FAME
Si stanno rapidamente aggravando, più del previsto, le condizioni di salute del prigioniero repubblicano Liam Hannaway
Corrono i brividi sulla pelle alla notizia del raggiungimento del 42° giorno di sciopero della fame di Liam Hannaway, prigioniero repubblicano a Maghaberry. Inevitabile che il ricordo corra immediamente al tragico sciopero della fame del 1981 a Long Kesh e al suo tragico epilogo.
Liam Hannaway, prigioniero politico irlandese indipendente, vanta legami di parentela con Gerry Adams, leader del Sinn Fein. Proprio per questa ragione ci si sta chiedendo perchè i media abbiano snobbato quando si sta vivendo in una cella del Special Supervision Unit (SUS) dove Hannaway è barbaramente rinchiuso da mesi 24 ore su 24, senza poter godere dei più basilari diritti umani.
Solo dopo l’intervento di un’organizzazione esterna a tutela dei diritti umani, il prigioniero dopo 14 mesi di segregazione, ha ottenuto una sedia, una forchetta e gli utensili da utilizzare per consumare i propri pasti.
Liam Hannaway chiede di poter essere reintegrato nell’area riservata ai prigionieri repubblicani, la Roe House del carcere di Maghaberry.
Liam fu condannato a dieci anni i detenzione nel 2008 per possesso di esplosivi. La sua segregazione nel SUS ebbe inizio durante il periodo di custodia cautelare quando il personale penitenziario lo informò di una minaccia di morte nei suoi confronti provenienti dai prigionieri repubblicani. La minaccia di morte non è mai stata dimostrata anzi, testimonianze di fonte repubblicana dimostrano che Liam sarebbe il benvenuto in Roe House. Gli è stata negata anche la possibilità di firmare una liberatoria che solleva gli organismi penitenziari da eventuali responsabilità dal pericolo che potrebbe derivare dal suo reinserimento nell’ala repubblicana, contrariamente a quanto era stato concesso a Gary Donnelly.
Liam Hannaway raggiunge oggi i 42 giorni di sciopero della fame. Allison, sua fidanzata, ha affermato che Liam è di buon umore ma il deperimento fisico è più veloce di quanto si era ipotizzato.
Il prigioniero ha rifiutato l’assunzione di medecinali salva vita perchè contenenti saccarosio ed altri ingredienti che potrebbero fornirli sostentamento. Ha richiesto che gli venisse riconosciuto il diritto di essere seguito da un medico indipendente, ma la richiesta è stata negata.
Nel frattempo ha firmato una dichiarazione in cui esprime il suo rifiuto all’attuazione di una qualsiasi tecnica rianimatoria nel caso dovesse essere non più in grado di intendere e di volere o dovesse entrare in coma.
Secondo le ultime indiscrezioni, nella serata di ieri Liam Hannaway è stato trasferito presso l’unità di cura del carcere di Maghaberry, al fine di monitorare costantemente le sue condizioni cliniche.
Una delegazione del Sinn Fein capeggiata di Martin McGuinness e Raymond McCartney, si riunirà entro oggi a discutere del caso con il Ministro della Giustizia David Ford.
SITUATION CRITICAL FOR IRISH HUNGER STRIKER (Irish Freedom News 15/05/2010)
31 Days on Hunger Strike at Maghaberry Prison
Despite blood ties to Provisional Sinn Fein figurehead Gerry Adams, Independent Irish Republican political prisoner Liam Hannaway today enters his 31st day on hunger strike at Maghaberry Jail; virtually unnoticed by local and international media.
The Irish Freedom Committee spoke with Liam Hannaway’s fiancée Allison yesterday to learn more and offer our immediate assistance. Allison tells us Liam is in good spirits but his health is deteriorating rapidly, far faster than expected. He is pale and weak and is having trouble standing. He is determined to see his demands – chiefly to be moved to the Republican landing at Roe house – met. He has refused all vital medications he had been prescribed because they contain sucrose, or sugar energy. He had been seen daily by a medic, but refuses that now as he is entitled to an outside independent doctor, but the prison refuses him this right. On Friday last he signed an advance medical directive stating that should he fall into a coma or become incapacitated, not to revive him. We ask your critical help today to help put pressure on the British government to have Liam’s reasonable and feasible demands met; and immediately end this now-dangerous hunger strike.
Liam was sentenced ten years in 2008 for possession of explosives. While still on remand at Maghaberry prison, Liam was approached by prison staff and told that an alleged death threat had been put on his life by unnamed republicans. These alleged `threats’ have never been substantiated. An extensive inquiry by his well-known republican family has determined without any doubt there is no threat to his life from the movement on the outside. The republican prisoners at Roe house have said they will welcome Liam “with open arms”.
Despite this, in his first five weeks at Maghaberry Liam was moved against his wishes to the SSU, or Special Supervision Unit – a bleak and unfurnished isolation cell with no contact to the outside world. Liam was held in this isolation cell, on 24-hour a day lockdown, with no access to fresh air, for the next 16 months. During this time his fiancée Paula and his father Kevin fought a long and lonely battle to get even the barest comforts of a chair, a fork and utensils to eat with. After efforts were made by an outside human rights organization, Liam was finally able to eat sitting down and with utensils, after 14 months in SSU.
This abhorrent treatment would break the strongest person. INLA prisoner John Kennaway tragically took his life in these cells after four months in isolation, in 2007.
As a prisoner with an alleged `death threat’ against him, Liam has the right to sign a waiver with the prison, absolving it and its personnel of any legal claim or court case in the event this `threat’ does manifest itself. Recently, in a well-documented case, another republican prisoner Gary Donnelly was alleged to have a `death threat’ against him and was also confined to SSU; but was allowed to sign this waiver and return to the republican landing after three days.
In essence, while Liam is allowed to sign away his own life in an advance medical directive pertaining to his hunger strike; he is not allowed to sign a waiver absolving the prison of any culpability, so that he could be housed with his comrades on the republican landing of the jail.
Following the Easter protest of 2009, when fourteen republican prisoners were put `on the boards’ in the SSU’s punishment blocks; Liam was moved, again against his wishes, into a separate unit of Maghaberry prison at Glen House. There are fifteen prisoners housed with him, all of them Loyalists, ex-warders, and ex-police; jailed with crimes from rape to drugs. He is surrounded by UDA and UVF posters, Union Jacks, and heavily tattooed prisoners and warders. It is a threatening and depressing atmosphere. Liam has borne it up well.
“He has made it a point to walk to the shower every day with his head held high”, Allison told us. “It is not a place anyone would want to land themselves in as a catholic, let alone as a republican.” In its bleak isolation it is, as she says, “a continuation of SSU”.
We asked Allison if she thought that Laim’s blood relation to Gerry Adams, and the recent elections in the North, could be a factor in why Liam’s horrific situation has gone on virtually unnoticed; along with the continuing crisis to all the republican prisoners at Maghaberry jail. “Oh, absolutely”, she stated. “These are the men that Adams and Provisional Sinn Fein want to forget”.
Allison has suffered two strokes in the past few years, the last one after her home was raided by security forces and her children’s bank-books and savings seized. The paltry sum of 130.00 Sterling has still not been returned. She manages to visit the jail almost daily now and attends protests for the prisoners at the jail, despite being confined to a wheelchair much of the time. On December 23 of last year, on a Christmas visit to the jail with her five children, Allison was singled out by PSNI officers at the jail after passing through a body frisking and the drugs-dog gauntlet, and told that she was subject to a `random’ strip search. She was told that of she refused, she would be arrested on the spot and taken to barracks. It being her Christmas visit with all her children to see their father, Allison complied with this humiliating, degrading and utterly unnecessary assault on her privacy.
Hunger striker Liam Hannaway on prison health watch (BBC News Northern Ireland)
A dissident republican on hunger strike for 39 days has been moved to the health care unit at Maghaberry prison.
Liam Hannaway has served almost two and a half years of a 10-year sentence for possessing explosives and ammunition.
His family say he is refusing food in protest at being held in a vulnerable prisoners unit rather than on a wing with other dissidents.
They reject prison authorities’ claims his life would be in danger if he was moved to the republican wing.
Hannaway is from a well-known west Belfast republican family and is a relative of Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.
It is understood the 40-year-old was moved to the health care unit at Maghaberry on Monday night.
Prison sources say there are no immediate concerns for his health and the move is to enable medical staff to monitor his condition more closely.
A Sinn Fein delegation led by Martin McGuinness and Raymond McCartney is to discuss the situation at Maghaberry with Justice Minister David Ford later on Tuesday.