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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Sinn Féin USA

British Government Torture Exposed

In August 1971 the British Government introduced Internment without trial.

This gave the state the power to imprison citizens without access to courts and the fundamental elements of justice.

350 men were rounded up and brutalized in custody before being incarcerated in Long Kesh prison. 14 of the men were selected for “extreme interrogation”. This was another name for torture.

The 14 were taken to Ballykelly British Army Camp, hooded, placed in stress positions for long periods, subjected to sustained loud noise, and denied food, water, and sleep.

They were beaten and thrown hooded from helicopters that they believed were flying at height but were hovering close to the ground.

The 14 became known as the “Hooded Men”.

Despite several court rulings the Police Service has refused to properly investigate the actions of those who tortured these detainees.

Sinn Féin policing spokesperson Gerry Kelly said,

“The Supreme Court has ruled that the decision by the PSNI (Police) to discontinue the investigation into the torture of the ‘hooded men’ in 2014 was unlawful.

“The court also commented, ‘It is likely that the deplorable treatment to which the ‘hooded men’ were subjected at the hands of the security forces would be characterized today, applying the standards of 2021, as torture.’

“These men have campaigned for almost 50 years for truth and justice. They should not have to wait a moment longer.

“Sinn Féin will continue to support the ‘Hooded men’ in their campaign for justice and universal recognition of the torture they endured 50 years ago

A solicitor for the group Darragh Mackin said it was a "landmark victory" saying,

"It was always clear that the initial investigation by the PSNI (Police) was nothing more than a window-dressing exercise which only sought to pay lip service to the term 'investigation',"

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