SDLP Foyle MLA Pat Ramsey has met with the Governor of Maghaberry Prison to raise issues about the treatment of prisoners in the facility
After the meeting on Friday afternoon, Mr Ramsey said: “I met with Mr Maguire and his Deputy Governor in Maghaberry on Friday morning to discuss the overall arrangements in the prison with regard to separated prisoners and to highlight specific cases and incidents that have been communicated to me of alleged mistreatment of prisoners. I put to the Governor the issues I have regarding the search procedures within the prison as I have highlighted previously, as I have been contacted directly by family members of prisoners about what they see to be a brutal and degrading practice.
My concerns have been registered with the Governor and his staff and I have sought a meeting with the Justice Minister and the Secretary of State immediately to address my on-going concerns. In particular, I was asked to highlight specific instances and specific prisoner queries by families, which I also put to the Governor, in particular about video surveillance of searches being carried out, which I intend to ask the Justice Minister to release to me if the prison authorities cannot. The on-going protest and the impact on prisoners is of great concern to me as a public representative, as well as the search procedures and some of the protocols governing the prison.
I have furthermore put a number of questions in writing to the Governor arising from the meeting and will continue to monitor the situation very carefully. It is of the utmost importance that those incarcerated in Maghaberry are treated with dignity and respect and that we all stand together to ensure that human rights are protected.”