Northern Ireland: Justice on trial

Fitzpatrick, Robert F.
September 1993
Human Rights;Fall93, Vol. 20 Issue 4, p24
The article relates the experiences of the author during a human rights fact finding mission in Northern Ireland in 1993. Fourteen lawyers and five other professionals went to investigate the treatment of a group of youths from the Ballymurphy and neighboring Beechmont areas, who had been languishing without trial in the Crumlin Road Jail since August 1991. Each of them was assigned a youth. The author's assignment was Tony Garland. Tony had been arrested on August 2, 1991. He was 17 years old. He stands accused of opening the front door of his home to allow another youth, who allegedly had thrown a coffee jar bomb at a British military vehicle, to escape through his house out the rear door. Tony was taken to Castlereagh Interrogation Center where he was interrogated without counsel for six days by the Royal Ulster Constabulary--the local police. According to the author, he lived in Tony's home during the week and observed firsthand the ongoing harassment of Catholic youths; lads in their early teens being stopped, questioned, and searched without cause; the constant patrolling of the neighborhood by British troops in full battle regalia; and the search of premises with no warrant and no probable cause. Not surprisingly, British troops are loathed by one and all in the community. INSET: Delegation urges Clinton to appoint peace envoy..


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