News and other Busyness
Roisin McAliskey Still Held
Pregnant Irish prisoner held without charge faces extradition
Squall 15, Summer 1997, pg. 5.
AN IRISH WOMAN imprisoned since last November without charge was facing extradition to Germany as Squall went to press in May.
Despite no evidence being presented in court against her Roisin McAliskey, 25 and heavily pregnant, was denied bail and held on remand as a top-security, category A, prisoner following her arrest in November last year.
Her high-security status meant she was strip-searched twice a day and locked in a permanently lit cell for 23 hours a day, with no rights of association.
Her strip-searches did not end until April, when she was seven months pregnant, after a court reduced her status to medium category A risk.
McAliskey was arrested in connection with an IRA bomb which exploded in a British Army barracks in Osnabruck last year. Her fingerprints were found on a cigarette packet found "in association” with accommodation suspected of being used by the IRA in Germany. According to her solicitor, Gareth Pierce of Birnbergs, such evidence would not be sufficient to bring a charge.
According to Fuscailt, the Irish Prisoners Campaign, her doctors believe her baby will be born a month prematurely because of her treatment.
Although the German Government is attempting to extradite her at the invitation of the British Government, it is believed the German authorities are opposing bail.
On May 6th McAliskey was due to appear at Bow Street Magistrates’ Court in London where a further application for bail as well as an extradition hearing would be heard. She was too ill to attend and the hearing will now take place after she has given birth.
According to Fuscailt, the case against her has been crumbling. A German current affairs TV programme about the case interviewed the main witness - the owner of a Holiday Inn where the bombers are supposed to have stayed - who said he didn’t recognise McAliskey.