In the most recent incident a local republican was viciously assaulted and arrested by the PSNI during a stop and search operation in Monaghan Street. As a result of this assault, the victim had to seek hospital treatment for his injuries which included serious bruising and swelling to his arms, back and side.
Such was the ferocity of the assault that several bystanders pleaded with the PSNI assailants to stop what they were doing as the victim was clearly injured and in a lot of pain. Their pleas were ignored.
The PSNI also ignored the fact that this man was injured and in need to medical treatment. Instead, they handcuffed the man before bundling him into a patrol car which took him to a barracks. On top of being assaulted, injured and arrested he then found himself facing spurious charges of disorderly behaviour and resisting police.
éirígí’s Stephen Murney, who witnessed the incident, explained, “This man, who I know personally, was simply walking down Monaghan Street when he was singled out by this PSNI patrol. I was standing just a few feet away and, along with numerous other members of the public, witnessed the unprovoked assault and subsequent arrest.
“I also know that the particular PSNI officers behind this attack are notorious in the Newry area for targeting republicans. Indeed, I also have personally been targeted by these PSNI members.
“This is totally unsurprising behaviour from the PSNI and yet again it proves what we have been saying all along. They are unchanged, unchanging and unchangeable.”
Murney continued, “In the past three years alone over 76,000 people have been targeted by the PSNI using the British government’s so-called “Justice and Security Act”. While PSNI harassment and brutality shows no sign of stopping, that does not mean we should accept it as normal, it is far from normal.
“To help victims of harassment and to dispel the myths surrounding the various repressive legislation éirígí will be launching the party’s “Know Your Rights” campaign in the Newry area in the coming weeks. This may not stop incidents like this from happening but it will empower people as to what rights they have when they are on the receiving end of such human rights abuse.
“As well as launching this campaign locally, we will also be launching several other initiatives to counter and defy the paramilitary police, the details of which will be publicised in the near future. éirígí won’t be found wanting when it comes to exposing the abuse of rights by the state forces.”
Stephen concluded, “We urge anyone on the receiving end of similar treatment to feel free to contact éirígí and their legal representatives to have the incidents logged and recorded.”