Statement from POW Department, Republican Sinn Féin
THE release of Martin Corey from Maghaberry jail in Co Antrim on January 14, 2014 was “not before time” according to Josephine Hayden, a spokesperson for the POW Department, Republican Sinn Féin who welcomed his release in a statement on January 15.
She said “The treatment meted out to Martin Corey for nearly four years was nothing short of barbaric and it was difficult to get the general public and the media interested in Martin Corey’s internment from the beginning. While, quite rightly, we saw/see criticism of the mistreatment of prisoners in other countries – on social media and in the press — the case of Martin Corey was ignored, with a few honourable exceptions, by people here at home.
“The various British secretaries of state hid behind a wall of silence and claimed that Martin Corey was ‘a threat to the public’. Their case was based on secret evidence/closed material and unspecified allegations. The role of the courts to ensure that ‘not only must justice be done, but must be seen to be done’ took such a back seat that it disappeared.
“Not only was justice not done to Martin Corey, an injustice was done to him. Unspecified allegations are not allowed in courts of law, unless of course the allegations are made by states. We have seen the British Crown Forces and their collaborationists hide behind physical screens and screens of silence in many cases down the years, black-ops in good working order, still operational.
“For almost four years Martin sat in a jail cell not knowing why he was there – this is also the type of action that even the British condemn in other countries.
“Martin was held without any due process, he was never questioned from the time of his arrest about any specific incident(s) and his legal team have never been allowed to challenge any of the secret evidence that was bought before the Parole Commissioners – neither the legal team or the judge saw the secret evidence adjudicated on by a state appointed advocate.
“On his release the statement from the Northern Ireland (sic) Office said ‘The Parole Commissioners have decided to release Martin Corey on a licence that is subject to conditions which are designed to manage the risk they assess him to pose.’ On his release – after four years – we are still asking the question ‘what risk’?
She concluded: “Is it any wonder the Republicans have no confidence in and refuse to engage with what operates as the justice system in the Occupied Six Counties, when it sees a man who ran his own business for 20 years, just picked up and interned on the word of some anonymous MI5 individuals and held without charge or trial for almost four years. And who, according to media reports [BBC and UTV January 14/15, 2014], cannot even reside in his own home town.
“Martin should never have been interned in Maghaberry or any other jail. He should have been, and should be now, at home with his family and friends, working at his business and getting on with his life.