I am wee late with the news, but news like this is actually always timely.
After nearly four years internment, Martin Corey was released from Maghaberry jail, Co Antrim on January 15th, 2014. Corey was released with a number of conditions, including that he not be allowed to speak to the media. He is also not allowed to return to his home town. Other conditions believed to have been imposed on Corey include restrictions on his attendance at certain public and social events.
Corey was hidden from members of the press who had gathered outside the Maghaberry jail, in the six counties in Ireland's north still claimed by Britain, on the night of January 15. The 63-year-old was taken out in a blacked-out prison van directly to a train station, where he was released to his lawyer.
... On word that a single camera crew had arrived at Maghaberry to cover the release, Corey was whisked off in a prison van for a secret assignation with his solicitor at nearby Moira railway station. The thwarted BBC news team must have been particularly aggrieved, for these machinations received higher billing on the evening news than almost any other aspect of the four-year saga.
... a general injunction in talking to any media outlet appears plainly disproportionate to any justification for this restriction on his rights. Access to the media by those subject to criminal sanctions, and seeking to expose potential miscarriages of justice, has long been carefully guarded by the UK’s courts.
In 1973, at the age of 19 he was sentenced to life in prison for his part in the killing of two Royal Ulster Constabulary (R.U.C.) officers near Lurgan. Mr Corey spent 19 years of his life in prison; he was released in June 1992, six years prior to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement (GFA). Therefore he has served his full sentence and was not released under the provisions of the early release scheme as provided in the GFA.
Without warning on April 16th 2010 he was taken back into custody. No reason was given to Martin at the time or since. The British government removed him from his home and his family and never told him why.
The BBC says:
Former Northern Ireland Secretary of State Shaun Woodward had ordered his prison recall on the basis of "closed material" and unspecified allegations of involvement with dissident republicans.
Justice Watch Ireland states:
Justice Watch Ireland (JWI) welcomes Mr Corey’s eventual release, however, we do so with continuing concern as to the process and manner in which he was detained including that of his release conditions.
The fact that Mr Corey has been incarcerated since April 1, 2010 without trial or charge in Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Maghaberry – the fact that he has never been given any lawful or legitimate reason for his dentition nor has there ever been any sufficient disclosure documentation been made available, regardless of the countless requests by his legal team and Human Rights groups, all would infer that he has no case to answer.
JWI call for the immediate removal of all conditions imposed upon the released ‘internee’ Martin Corey and reiterate our position; arraign Martin Corey in an open court and allow due process to take its place; if the authorities are unable or unwilling to do this, let him go unconditionally.
In the absence of afore mentioned process it shall result in making a mockery of the judicial system with evidence dictating that the state has imprisoned 63 year old Mr Corey unlawfully now for almost four years.
If any state can detain an Individual on so called ‘secret evidence’, hold them indefinitely without producing a shred of real evidence, release them years later without the accused ever being able to face their accuser – then have the state judicial apparatus gag them, give no recourse through it’s judiciary system so they may clear their name and be compensated for wrongful detention and abuse, we are facing a future not dissimilar to a Stalinist dictatorship.
The fact that Mr Corey is a political opponent to the current political process would cause one to extrapolate that the entire episode may be of a sinister and politically motivated action.
JWI have great concern as to how this degree of civil rights abuse has been allowed to go unchecked by those statuary bodies deemed to be in place in order to prevent such abuses occurring, particularly when conducted in such an open and notorious way.
All these issues require prompt and full investigation.
Mr Corey has been denied many rights, most importantly this 63 year old man; has been denied and continues to be denied his right to family and personal life as set out in the provisions of Article 8 of the ECHR.
That all said, it should be further noted that a breach of fundamental human rights of one is in fact, a breach of fundamental human rights for all.