Irish Republican Marian Price interned

Irish Republican Marian Price interned


Prominent republican Marian Price has been summarily jailed by
the British government following her rearrest at a Derry courtroom
yesterday.
The order to send Ms Price to jail came last night on the eve of her
court appearance, where she faced the unprecedented charge that she had
encouraged support for an illegal organisation.
Ms Price is secretary of the 32 County Sovereignty Committee and
chairperson of the Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association. The
court had heard a claim that she threatened to disrupt the visit to
Ireland of British monarch Elizabeth Windsor this week.

A PSNI sergeant told the court: “The 32 County Sovereignty Movement have
openly said they will carry out acts to disrupt events occurring in the
near future like the royal visit and that may mean future public order
events which the defendant might involve herself in.”

Although the judge at Derry Magistrate’s Court ordered her to be
released on bail, the 57-year-old was immediately rearrested on foot of
the order last night by British Direct Ruler Owen Paterson. She now
faces a life term, according to some reports.

Ms Price had been jailed in 1973 for her role in the Provisional IRA’s
armed struggle. She was released from prison on licence in 1980 on
medical grounds.  It is thought this licence has now been revoked after
31 years.

Her lawyer Peter Corrigan said: “I believe this is not lawful and it
drives a coach and horse through the presumption of innocence.”

It had been thought the legal status of former prisoners previously
released under licence, such as Ms Price, was resolved under the 1998
Good Friday Agreement, when all Provisional IRA prisoners were released.

But the move to effectively intern Ms Price at Maghaberry jail today has
dramatically escalated tensions in the North and comes amid a wave of
intimidation and repression of republicans linked to the royal visit,
which begins tomorrow in Dublin.

The 32 County Sovereignty Committee described the charge brought against
Ms Price on Sunday as “ridiculous”.

“It is quite clear that the RUC/PSNI were told to arrest Miss Price by
the highest level of the British political/security apparatus and there
is no doubt that this arrest and recent arrests of other pepublicans are
a prime exmple of political policing in advance of the British queen’s
visit to Ireland.

“Republicans must be wary in the coming days as this arrest and these
charges set a dangerous precedent and are aimed at disrupting the
legitimate political work of our movement.

“We will resist all such attempts at criminalisation.”

Neither the 32 County Sovereignty Committee nor Sinn Fein has yet
responded to Ms Price’s internment today, although grassroots
republicans have expressed their shock at the turn of events.

Ms Price is due to reappear in court again by videolink from Maghaberry
Prison on the 9 June in connection with Sunday’s charges.


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