Archive for the ‘Justice’ Category
This Thursday (1 December) Clare’s Prisons (Solitary Confinement) (Amendment) Bill 2016 will be debated in the Dáil.
The Bill creates a definition of solitary confinement in Irish law for the first time, and, if passed, would place statutory restrictions on holding prisoners in isolation for long periods.
Currently in Ireland there is no definition of solitary confinement – instead, prisoners are held on ‘restricted regimes’ or ‘on protection’. The Minister for Justice stated last September that ‘there is no provision for solitary confinement in the Irish Prison Service’. But the reality is that prisoners being locked up for 22 to 24 hours a day and deprived of meaningful human contact – the internationally accepted definition of solitary – does happen in Irish prisons, and the State can’t ignore its human rights obligations in regard to the practice by pretending it doesn’t.
Data obtained in October by The Detail show that prisoners in Ireland may be held in solitary confinement for months, and in some cases over a year. Commenting on those figures, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, said: ‘There is no question to me that those people are suffering what constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and perhaps depending on the gravity of their suffering – even torture.’
CALL FOR INQUIRY INTO WHO KNEW WHAT AND WHEN THEY KNEW IT
The Coalition of Mother And Baby home Survivors (CMABS) strongly supports the actions of Whistleblower Philip Garland, former assistant National Director of child and family services with the Health Service Executive and who was Director of child protection in the Catholic archdiocese of Dublin from 2003 to 2009. We applaud Mr. Garland who is currently going public with a number of very serious allegations about senior civil servants and Ministers knowing about an explosive internal report into forged infant mortality rates, illegal adoptions and industrial scale child trafficking inside and outside of Mother and Baby homes. CMABS understands there are many more serious matters to be revealed by Mr. Garland who has recently founded a Charity for the survivors of church and state abuse in Ireland and abroad.