Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Prisoners 'get no visits without protest pledge'

Prisoners at a high security jail in Northern Ireland are being denied family visits because they refuse to pledge not to resume their dirty protest afterwards, the High Court has heard.

Lawyers for inmates at Maghaberry Prison claimed the undertaking was being sought before they could shower and see relatives.

William Wong and Michael Johnston have mounted a legal challenge over the denial of legal and family visits.

Both men are being held in the separated regime in Roe House where dissident republicans have been staging a protest over conditions.

Johnston (28) from the New Lodge, north Belfast is on remand charged with possession of timer power units.

Wong (22), formerly of Dalton Close, Armagh, was jailed earlier this month for a minimum of five years for having a pipe bomb.

Their lawyers claim the prohibition breaches their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Tony McGleenan, for the Prison Service, said a video-link facility for legal consultations is to be installed by Friday.

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