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Different Legislation, Same Harassment


Docket from the PSNI stop & search (click to enlarge)As éirígí predicted, the recent suspension of Section 44 of the British government’s ‘Terrorism Act’ has not deterred the PSNI in its campaign of harassment against the nationalist community.

On Sunday [July 18], two éirígí activists were driving along the Armagh Road in Newry when they were stopped by the political police.

The activists were removed from the vehicle and were forced to endure a humiliating search in front of dozens of pedestrians and motorists under sections 21 and 24 of the British government’s Justice & Security Act. They were then questioned about their movements and their personal details were recorded while the vehicle was thoroughly searched by other members of the PSNI for unknown items.

The remit of the British government’s Justice & Security Act, which was introduced in 2007 as one of the final elements of the normalisation strategy, is confined to the Six Counties. The act contains repressive powers for the political police, the Six County judiciary and the British army.

Rúnaí ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith said: “Only last week, éirígí predicted that section 44 would simply be replaced with equally abhorrent legislation. It’s now clear that our prediction has become reality.

“éirígí activists in Newry are no strangers to Crown Forces harassment. In recent times, they have been harassed while delivering leaflets and, just last month, an activist’s home in the Derrybeg estate was targeted in a dawn raid which extended into a search operation of the estate itself which lasted the whole day. Now, our activists are being stopped under the draconian British Justice and Security Act. It’s clear that our activists and supporters in the area are being singled out for special treatment because of their political activities.

“The PSNI are only proving by their own actions that they are an unchanged, unaccountable paramilitary force. The PSNI remains a British police force, enforcing British law in support of the British occupation.”

Mac Cionnaith continued: “No amount of PSNI harassment, in Newry or anywhere else, will prevent éirígí activists from continuing the work of rebuilding the republican struggle.”


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