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Portlaoise Prison raid condemned as Politically Motivated and Vindictive printable version
12 Aug 2014: posted by the editor - Ireland
Early this morning a large force of prison officers, possibly as many as 150 strong, poured into the E wing of Portlaoise prison and began a cell by cell search of the building. Speaking from Belfast Mac Coitir of eirigi said: "While the exact details are still emerging it is clear that a very large search operation is underway on the landings occupied by dozens of republican political prisoners in Portlaoise."
Mr Coitir continued: "The timing of this search is highly suspicious, coming as it does as a number of prisoners are involved in court actions to have their remission increased from one quarter to one third. The courts have already directed that prisoners may qualify for increased remission, effectively bringing forward their release dates.
"Were the raids today an attempt to 'catch' some of these prisoners with contraband items, the possession of which can then be used to impose additional sentences, thus negating any increased remission? Media reports suggest that 30 mobile phones have been found in the jail. Are we now going to see thirty political prisoners charged with possession of mobile phones? If so these raids will be fully exposed for the vindictive and political acts that they are.
"The Dublin government are playing a very dangerous game in raiding Portlaoise. For many years the prison has been relatively quiet with very little friction between the prisoners and the prison authorities.
"The political prisoners in Portlaoise are held under very different conditions to any other prisoners in the state—a clear recognition of their political motivation.
"It must be hoped that today's raids do not signal a change of approach from the state, something which could very easily jeopardise the relative calm of Portlaoise."
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