End internment of Irish republicans now

Why are Irish republicans still being imprisoned without charge by British courts, 25 years after the initiation of the peace process?

It is comfortable to think that political prisoners in Ireland are a thing of the past, but the truth is that militant republicans are still being jailed without charge in an ongoing campaign of collective punishment against their movement.

This article is reproduced from Irish Republican News with thanks.


Increasing numbers of Irish republicans are being detained without bail and with little prospect of facing trial. Members of the Soaradh leadership have now endured three years of ‘internment by remand’. The party is calling on all republicans and human rights groups to speak out about the mounting scandal.

The definition of ‘internment’ is the act of putting someone in prison for political reasons without legal due process. This is what is happening to republicans in the occupied six-counties today.

For decades, republicans throughout Ireland have suffered the effects of internment and imprisonment in various forms. Despite this, they have continued to stand firm and continue to resist the oppressor.

That being said, we again bear witness to the internment conveyor belt in action. Evidence is not needed. Saoradh members and Irish Republican Prisoners Welfare Association (IRPWA) activists are now facing a renewed campaign of internment by the occupier.

Remand is the new form of British internment and this is consistently being used to imprison Irish republicans, who are often locked up on spurious charges and held on remand for a number of years – until charges are dropped or their cases fall apart.

It’s clear that the British state is pursuing a relentless strategy of jailing as many republicans as possible – a punitive policy aimed at taking activists away from their families and communities; out of sight and out of mind.

When republicans are targeted by the British occupation forces, backed by their political mouth pieces in Stormont, they can expect to be held for anything up to five years on remand in a British jail – away from their families, communities and comrades.

Many of these cases are built on sand and eventually collapse before trial – but not before those targetted have been held in jail for several years despite being innocent. No matter which way we look at it, it’s clear that this is a form of internment.

Saoradh is calling on all republicans, nationalists, and champions of human rights – as well as on the ever silent Catholic Church – to open their eyes, see what is happening in front of them, and speak out about it.

Saoradh and the IRPWA remain unified, committed and defiant. We will continue to stand against the British state and its use of internment under any guise.

It was wrong in 1971 and it’s wrong today.

End British internment!