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Prisoners in Struggle

By: Paul Wright

We have recently received information about the following prisoners in West Germany the US and England who are being persecuted because of their political beliefs. To help, I have a packet of pre-typed letters addressed to the authorities responsible for the treatment of each of the below prisoners. If you want a set, send Paul a SASE, and he will send it to you. If you are in Europe or want more info on the prisoners themselves, write:

Comhphobal Cumhacht
C/O Gefangen Initiative
Lessing Str. 18
D-4600 Dortmund 1
West Germany

Heres a quick run down on each prisoner: Gerry Hanratty is an Irish Republican POW in West Germany awaiting trial in Kaisheim prison on charges of illegal weapons possession. Of greater concern is the fact that the British government has applied for Gerrys extradition to Northern Ireland. While imprisoned in the infamous H-Blocks prison in 1981 Gerry was brutally beaten by British soldiers and prison guards, he recently received an award of 1,500 pounds from the European Court of Human Rights for his injuries. If returned to Northern Ireland, Gerry will not be allowed a jury trial and faces the real likelihood of further torture and beatings. It is asked that complaints be sent to the Bundesminister against Gerrys extradition.

Terrence McGeough is an Irish Republican POW awaiting trial in Frankenthal prison in West Germany on charges of weapons possession and attempting the bombing of a British Army barracks in Germany. The charges against Terry are based on refugee papers dated 1983/84 from the Swedish government. Terry emphasized he has no idea what the papers contain but using papers from 1983 to prove charges that allegedly occurred in 1987 is an outrage. More troubling, is the fact that the Swedish government has no problem violating the privacy of refugees seeking asylum. It is asked that letters be sent to the Swedish Minister of State and ask that he withdraw the refugee papers from the criminal case against Terry.

Alexander Gronbach is a West German prisoner serving an 8 yr. sentence for weapons possession. He is a long time anti-nuclear activist, support of the struggle for freedom by the Irish People and also for better prison conditions. He has served 6 years of his sentence already. Until May, 1988 he was held in the infamous dead wing of Stammsheim prison when he fell ill with pneumonia. At a prison hospital he was still held in solitary confinement. Later sent to Heilbronn prison, he was placed in a bunker in the cellar in solitary even though he still suffered from pleurisy and a bleeding cough. Alex is still in solitary. It is asked that people write the German minister of Justice and ask that Alex be transferred to a prison closer to his family and be placed in the general prison population.

Martina Anderson and Ella O-Dwyer are imprisoned in Durham prison in England. They are in H-Wing, a sensory deprivation control unit where the women are locked in their cells continuously, denied human contact, recreation, education, etc. They are also subjected to harassing strip searches, etc. An investigation by a government commission confirmed that these conditions were causing depression, stress, etc., yet nothing was done to end or cease the practices. It is asked that people write the warden and ask that the sensory deprivation cease.

The last case is that of Abu Mumia Jamal, on death row in Huntington, Pennsylvania, accused of killing a copy. He is a long time journalist, political activist and former Black Panther Party member. His trial had numerous irregularities where his past political associations were used in inflaming the jury to convict and sentence him to death. The State Supreme Court has ignored its own precedent in refusing to overturn his conviction. It is asked that people write the governor and ask he not sign Mumias death warrant and abolish the death penalty in that state.

For all of the above a pre-printed form is available. All you have to do is sign, date and mail it. International support is often critical in cases were prisoncrats are restrained by law, but sometimes public opinion can help better their conditions. So WRITE NOW!

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