[Sinn Fein]

25 January 1997

Adams calls for transfers

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams commenting on the continuing controversy surrounding the collapsed trial of five republican prisoners in England said:

``History teaches us that it is almost impossible to get at the truth when the British establishment moves to cover it up. While every effort should be made to achieve that goal there is no valid reason why the relatives of republican prisoners should have to undergo the traumatic experience of closed visits.

``It is clear from the evidence which emerged in the trial that no items were smuggled into Whitemoor via relatives or through the visits. This bogus claim was the excuse used by Michael Howard to introduce punitive closed visits and other oppressive measures against Irish prisoners. These should now be scrapped and open visits re-introduced.

``There is no excuse for the Home Office to keep these prisoners or any other Irish political prisoners, in prisons in England. The British government should fulfil its international and legal obligations by ordering the speedy transfer of these men to prisons in Ireland.''

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