[Sinn Fein]

6 October 1997

Immediate intervention needed to prevent extradition of McAuley

Sinn Fein Vice President Pat Doherty this evening expressed grave concern at the decision by the High Court in Dublin to order the extradition of Pearse McAuley to a British jail.

Mr. Doherty said:

``The decision by the High Court to order the extradition of Pearse McAuley to a British jail must be strongly criticised especially at this stage in the peace process. Rather than involving itself in the extradition of Irish citizens the Dublin government should be ensuring the release of all political prisoners.

``This extradition is a product of legislation where no safeguard was built in to protect the rights of prisoners in this situation. We are calling for an immediate intervention to ensure that Pearse McAuley is afforded his full rights to pursue all legal avenues open to him.

``We should also remember the reality of what faces Pearse McAuley if extradited to England given the conditions under which Irish Republican prisoners are being held. We have the recent attacks on republican prisoners in Whitemoor jail and the holding of remand prisoners in Special Secure Units in Belmarsh jail. The Irish government has itself raised questions over the manner in which Irish people are convicted and held in British jails.

``Sinn Fein believes that no political prisoner should be extradited to Britain.''

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