[Sinn Fein]

30 September 1997

NIO Minister's comments on release of POWs welcomed

The Sinn Fein spokesperson on prison issues, Councillor Michael Browne has given a guarded welcome to remarks made by British minister Paul Murphy last night with regard to the release of political prisoners.

Mr. Browne said:

``Implicit to Mr. Murphy's comments is an understanding that matters relating to the release of political prisoners are an important element in the peace process. When examined in this context his remarks are to be welcomed.

``It is to be hoped that the British government will speedily initiate a process which will in the short term see the release of all political prisoners. It must be remembered at all times that the issue of prisoners is an important confidence building area. In order to consolidate and advance the peace process it is of the utmost importance that it enjoys the confidence of all sections of our community. Given the depth of feeling which exists for political prisoners it is essential that the issue of early releases is addressed speedily and in a manner conducive to building a just peace.''

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