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PSNI imprison 61 year old woman collecting for Cogús POWs

September 28, 2012

Republican Network for Unity expresses their deep disgust at the actions of the PSNI who on the evening of 27th of September arrested our valued comrade Briege Connor while she collected for dependents of Republican prisoners in West Belfast.

Briege is a well known and respected supporter of the POWs.  She is a familiar face on white line pickets and protests for political status across the country and only recently welcomed her own son home from a lengthy sentence in Maghaberry.

Despite suffering from severe arthritis and heart problems last week she played a full part in the 48 hour campout for Maghaberry on the falls road, but more often still, Briege makes herself available for spontaneous collections for prisoners dependents and has raised thousands of pounds in this way.

On Thursday evening Briege was collecting PDF outside ASDA (Westwood centre) when the PSNI arrived and asked her if she had a street permit. When Briege refused to co-operate she was arrested for refusing to give her name and address.

Worryingly, the PSNI then drove Briege around Belfast then to an industrial estate on Kennedy way where they began to question her on other RNU members and various republican activities. They also searched her under repressive Section 24 legislation. After this ordeal she was then taken to a PSNI station where officers confirmed her identity.

At this time she was also informed that she had an apparent outstanding fine warrant and was transferred to Hydebank wood where she was remanded for 14 days. During this time the PSNI refused to provide her family with any details of her arrest creating further stress, nor would Hydebank provide her solicitor with details of her fine warrant.

Briege has since been informed by the prison governor that her fine warrant was in relation to an unpaid TV licence some years ago.

RNU have no doubt however, that the PSNI have deliberately targeted this frail Republican lady as punishment for her sterling work in highlighting the plight of Maghaberry POWs and raising funds for their dependants  We note that the PSNI seized over £100 of money intended for the dependants of prisoners in last nights ‘operation’.

Once again the PSNI have proved their role as the front line for British rule in Ireland.



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