Report from Cogús
“Hope they don’t mind me using to highlight the situation”
Escalation of tensions in Maghaberry
Monday, 24 September 2012 11:47
Cogús have received word from protesting P.O.W.‘s on Roe 3 – Maghaberry who report an alarming shift in tactics by prison authorities in their approach to the no wash-‘dirty protest‘ in which Cogús prisoners are currently participating.
It is standard practice for authorities to hose down cells with heavy chemical detergents at regular intervals. Up until this point P.O.W.’s were moved into clean cells while the hosing process took place before being moved back to their own cell 24 hours later, allowing chemicals to escape.
Within the past week however Prison officials have refused to allow men to spend the 24 hour hosing period in a clean cell. Authorities are now expecting P.O.W.’s to move back into fume filled cells immediately after they have been hosed down, exposing them to dangerous levels of poisonous chemicals which screws themselves wear gas masks to avoid.
Just as alarmingly, industrial cleaners are also semi cleaning contaminated cells before forcing P.O.W.’s to switch over, effectively making men live in each others excrement.
Political prisoner Tony Taylor today relayed the message to Cogús that.. ‘far from displaying any good will towards the prisoners in Roe House, prison administration appear determined to maximise tensions, no doubt under the impression that through petty tactics they will undermine the morale of the protest. These type of tactics only serve to galvanise the determination of protesting P.O.W.’s.