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End of protest Cogús statement

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From RNU website




Cogús prisoners in Roe 3 Maghaberry have since July 1st 2011 been involved in protest action in defence of the 2010 August agreement, which had provided the opportunity to secure an environment in which political prisoners could serve their time with dignity.


It is our belief that the Maghaberry administration and the British state have acted in bad faith as regards that agreement.


Prior to July 2011, prison riot squads began to enforce lock up times not in line with the agreement, resulting in hand to hand combat with us, torn limbs, broken bones and a strong and accurate indication that the administration did not intend to recognise the initial ‘phase of change’ which was to be completed by July 1st.


Therefore on that date we recommenced protest action which for 17 months has seen us living in smashed cells, smeared in our own excrement and forced to pour urine out our doors in the evening.

During this time we made it clear to our representatives, that a genuine indication of good will on behalf of the state would be required before we would consider ending this phase of protest.


As such we welcome yesterday’s announcement from David Ford that he was working to ensure the quick instalment of mechanical alternatives to strip searching.


This statement provides the environment in which we can now announce that the remaining eight Cogús prisoners on full protest will end that action from 9 am this morning (Thursday).


We would not have ended our protest but for David Ford’s announcement yet we stress that our good faith is conditional on him keeping his word. We asked for a goodwill gesture which was given, we sought assurances on scanners and controlled movement this was also given.


We thank our representatives and the facilitation teams who with us were the driving force behind establishing recommendation number eight of the Anne Orr report and the solution to strip searching.

We thank and salute our families, our activists on the outside and indeed all Republican prisoners on Roe 3 & 4 who stood bravely against the worst acts of oppression over the past two years and more.

Republican prisoners have shown that the power of solidarity can and has changed oppressive prison policy, and in that spirit we call on all prisoners – working within their own autonomy – to unite and prepare for any future phases of struggle.


Ar Aghaidh Linn Le Cheile

Cogús Prisoners Maghaberry

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