[Sinn Fein]

16th October 2002

Deep concern and anger over refusal of visa to Colombia

A Sinn Fein spokesperson has expressed the party's deep concern and anger at the refusal of the Colombian authorities to grant a visa to Sinn Fein MLA Francie Molloy to attend the trial of Jim Monaghan, Martin McCauley and Niall Connolly. Mr Molloy was expected to travel to Colombia to attend the trial as an observer at the request of the mens families and the Bring Them Home campaign group.

The spokesperson said: ``This refusal will only add to the worries that the men's families and indeed Sinn Fein have in relation to the men getting a fair trial.

``For some time now Sinn Fein has been voicing our concern at the continued detention of the three men and the fact that their right to a fair legal process is being denied. We are also greatly concerned about the safety of the men and the fact that their lives are at serious risk, especially in light of the circumstances surrounding their non-appearance in court last month.

``Despite being denied access to the trial Sinn Fein will continue to support the demand for fairness and justice. We also endorse the calls for the speedy release of the men and their return home to their families.''

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