Cogús Political Prisoners in Maghaberry say they ‘are growing increasingly concerned for the safety and welfare of republican prisoner Ciaran Collins’.
In early October of this year Collins requested to leave the republican landings in Roe House, ‘believing that it may accelerate his release, as he is subject to a commissioner license’.
He was moved to Bann House which holds prisoners from the general prison population. According to Cogús: “Since moving he has realised he made an error of judgement and has requested to come back to the republican landings. This request was granted by Cogús. No other bloc of republican prisoners had any objections to him being rehoused.
“After four weeks of lobbying by both Ciaran and Cogús prisoners, Ciaran has been informed that his request to be rehoused in Roe has been denied by NIPS HQ. Bizarrely Ciaran was told that since October he no longer meets the criteria as his ‘safety cannot be guaranteed’.”
The group added: “It must be noted that Ciaran’s request was denied despite interventions from the ICRC and the Independent Assessment Team.
Cogús are aware also that Ciaran has been attacked in Bann House by criminals, resulting in him sustaining a black eye. We have been informed that his mental well-being is fragile and he has been placed under supervision.
“We have grave concerns for his long term well-being. Once again NIPS have engaged in the process of isolating republican prisoners with ‘safety concerns’ being mooted as an excuse to facilitate that isolation.”
They went on: “It is widely accepted that any person accepted onto Roe House is guaranteed the protection of the republican landings. We call on NIPS to review their decision to rehouse Ciaran to the republican landings based on human rights and safety.”
The Prison service were approached for comment but none had been received at time of going to press.