[Sinn Fein]

27 August 2001

Concerns raised over Irish detained in Colombia

Sinn Fein TD for Cavan/Monaghan, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin today supported calls on the Department of Foreign Affairs, from the families of the three Irishmen detained in Colombia to intervene in the cases of their relatives. Deputy Ó Caoláin said: ``It is important that the human rights of these men are protected while they are in custody and are brought home to Ireland as soon as possible.''

Deputy Ó Caoláin has been in touch with the Department of Foreign Affairs today, at the request of the families.

Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

``I am deeply concerned at reports emanating from Colombia over the weekend indicating that the lives of these three men could be in imminent danger. The Irish government has a responsibility to ensure that the rights of Irish nationals being detained abroad are upheld and I am calling on them to intervene immediately to ensure that these men are protected from any danger.

``Furthermore as the unsubstantiated reports, on which this case seem to be based, have been shown to be false I am calling on the Government to do all in its power to have these men released and returned to their families has soon as possible.''

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