There’s an interesting debate being started in Loyalist circles, and one of those who seems to be leading this is Jamie Bryson of ‘fleg’ protest fame. This comes following the release of Lurgan Republican Martin Corey. Martin Corey who has been released after spending four years in jail with no charges being brought against him now faces severe restrictions as part of his release.
One of these restrictions is that he is not allowed to speak to the media. The crux of this being that it would seem that Stormont is happy for it’s Police force to arrest you and it’s penal system to detain you. And after all that they threaten to remove your liberty if you tell anyone in the media what they did to you.
Sixty three year old Martin Corey was previously released on bail in 2012, however he was returned his cell from the waiting area of the prison after the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland appealed against his bail release.
Jamie Bryson has been tweeting on the Corey situation today and acknowledges that whilst he does not agree with what ‘Martin Corey stands for’ he cannot support Martin Corey being interned with no trial and then banned from speaking to the media. And Bryson asks the pertinent question ‘how on earth could a man pose a risk to the public by talking to the media? It would seem that the thought police are out now in force, aided and abetted by the silence of Stormont.
I would argue that Martin Corey now stands for more than the narrow view of his personal political opinions, opinions it must be noted which are covered by Human Rights Legislation. Marin Corey is a victim of the state, a victim of all of the political parties here in Northern Ireland that allowed his detention. And if they state in their defence that it wasn’t them it was the British Secretary of state then they need to be told that this is happening on their watch and in our names, and it’s not acceptable. And the next time any of them claim that Northern Ireland is a shining example of a post conflict society that could be used a model in conflict situations across the globe, they should be asked, what about Martin Corey?
The frightening thing is that if they can do this to him, they can do it to anyone whether they be a community activist, anti poverty campaigner, trade unionist, environmental campaigner or any other type of ‘square peg’ in one of Stormont’s rose tinted round holes. This could be seen as something that would seem to be straight out of the Nazi party guide to democracy and if it was happening else where in the world our politicians would be leading the charge to condemn it.
Alas once again the lack of democracy, transparency and accountability from the politicians here stuns me, What is even more astounding is that Jamie Bryson whilst our positions would differ greatly seems to be taking more of a principled human rights stance that those who allegedly run this place.