[Sinn Fein]

28th July 1999

RUC step up harassment in Dungannon area

Fermanagh/South Tyrone Assembly Member Michelle Gildernew has accused the RUC of a blatant increase in harassment directed specifically at republican ex-prisoners.

The Sinn Fein Spokesperson said:

``Over the past few months there has been a noticeable increase in Crown Forces activity in and around the Dungannon area. I have been contacted almost on a daily basis by constituents concerned by this increase in harassment of nationalist by the RUC and British Army at a time when their community is coming under frequent attack from Loyalist murder gangs.

In the last week republican ex-prisoners have come in from special attention from the RUC and RIR. on Sunday one ex-prisoner was detained by the RUC and had a camera which was in the boot of his car confiscated. When I contacted the RUC to lodge a complaint on his behalf I was subjected to a torrent of abuse.

Last night an ex-prisoner and a parolee from Portlaoise were detained at Shields Corner, Dungannon, for almost two hours and were treated to the usual sectarian insults which are the trademark of these bigoted forces. They were only releases when a large crowd and a number of elected representatives began to gather.

This activity by the Crown Forces will not be tolerated. Nationalists and republicans have not come through the last thirty years to go back to where we were in 1969.''

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