Derry-based human rights organisation, the Prisons Crisis Group (PCG), have delivered a presentation on the urgent need for intervention to end the internment of Marian Price and Martin Corey to Derry City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee.
PCG are firmly of the view that Marian Price and Martin Corey should not be in prison and should be released immediately.
Both have been granted bail by the Northern Ireland Judicial System.
A spokesperson for PCG said: “In the case of Marian Price the Judiciary has granted bail twice. While in the case of Martin Corey, Justice Treacy, ruled that Parole Commissioners had breached his human rights in refusing to release him and subsequently granted him bail unconditionally.
“In both cases the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Owen Patterson has then intervened, usurping the Judiciary.
“In the case of Marian Price her ordered detention by a Direct Rule Minister has seemingly stripped David Ford, Minister for Justice, the Department of Justice and the Parole Commission of all responsibility and left them apparently powerless to act.
“Similarly in the case of Martin Corey, having been directed to release Mr Corey from Prison on bail unconditionally, the Secretary of State, Owen Patterson blocked Mr Corey’s release and again commandeered the judiciary.”
The spokesperson added that the “reality of this situation is not compatible with the belief that Northern Ireland has a functioning democracy in which the political machine respects the independence and authority of the courts or that it has a functioning democracy where authority has been devolved to the local Stormont Assembly.”
The spokesperson added: ““Power over secret police activity continues to rest in the sole authority of the British Secret Intelligence Service MI5. This is a highly dangerous situation in which unaccountable, faceless men are playing with the lives of ordinary citizens.”
In concluding its presentation to assembled local councillors the Prisons Crisis Group called on Derry City Council to support its demand and to make urgent representations to the Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Owen Patterson and to call on him to release both Marian Price and Martin Corey immediately.