Belfast Telegraph

SF leaders in plea to US over Price

Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness have urged political leaders America to demand the release of Marian Price.

US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton is among those called on to lobby the British and Irish Governments.

Price, 58, the former Old Bailey bomber, is ill in a Belfast hospital after being in virtual solitary prison confinement awaiting trial accused of addressing a meeting in Derry in support of a proscribed organisation. Doctors have claimed she is unfit to face the charge.

The Sinn Fein president who is due to visit the States later this week, and Mr McGuinness, the deputy Northern Ireland First Minister, have written to the political leaders claiming the continued imprisonment of Price - she is also known as Mrs Price McGlinchey - was a serious case of injustice and a denial of human and judicial rights.

They said they were concerned about the manner and conditions under which she has been detained since her arrest in May last year. Her detention - first in jail and later in hospital - was unjust and ran contrary to the principles of natural justice.

They Sinn Fein leaders said in their letter: "In all of these institutions her health has continued to deteriorate. A number of doctors who have examined Mrs Price McGlinchey have confirmed that her mental health has suffered greatly and that she would be unable to participate meaningfully in a 'review' of her case.

"We believe very strongly that Marian Price McGlinchey should be released. Her human rights have been breached. She has been denied justice and due process. She is seriously ill. Her detention undermines the justice system and the political process. She clearly presents no threat to anyone."

Price was jailed for her part in IRA bombings in London, including the Old Bailey, in March 1973 in which 200 people were injured. One man died of a heart attack.

But she is a fierce opponent of the Adams-McGuinness peace process strategy and was arrested after being filmed at the City Cemetery in Derry where she held a statement for a masked man to read in which threats were made against Catholic police officers.

She was released on bail, but the then Northern Ireland Secretary of State Owen Paterson revoked her licence and she was sent back to prison. Later her legal representatives attempted to have the charge dropped and claimed prison doctors and a UN doctor agreed she was unfit to stand trial because of her deteriorating medical condition. Price is due to appear in court again on November 21.

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