[Sinn Fein]

19 November 1997

Dangerous Situation Developing

Statement from Sinn Fein's chief negotiator, Martin McGuinness, who sought an urgent meeting today with the British security Minister Adam Ingram at which he expressed grave concern at the dangerous situation developing in north Armagh with the campaign of harassment and violence being waged against Lurgan republican Colin Duffy and the nationalist people of north Armagh.

Mr. McGuinness said:

``I urgently sought today's meeting because I am worried about the dangerous and deteriorating situation that is unfolding in Lurgan, Armagh city and Portadown areas of north Armagh.

``I pointed out to the British Minister that he was responsible for the level of Crown forces on the streets of these towns and that their presence there was oppressive and heavy-handed. The violent and ongoing abuse of Colin Duffy is the tip of the iceberg of harassment of nationalists by the Crown forces. Over the last month solicitors in Lurgan and Armagh have been inundated with complaints about harassment by the RUC and RIR and have logged over one hundred complaints in each area.

``I reminded the Minister that it was the securocrats, those following a military agenda, who were responsible for wrecking the peace process the first time around. I urged him to stand up to these people. Those opposed to the peace process in the British establishment, those following a military agenda, need to be confronted by those in political authority.''

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