The arrest of Róisín McAliskey

The vindictive nature of the British judicial system was again in evidence yesterday (Monday) as county Tyrone woman Róisín McAliskey had to face court allegations which many believed were decisively dismissed a decade ago.
Róisín, the daughter of veteran civil rights campaigner and socialist-republican Bernadette McAliskey, was arrested at her Coalisland home by RUC-PSNI officers and a group called the Extradition and International Mutual Assistance Unit.

She spent 16 months in English prisons in the mid-1990s following allegations that she was involved in a bomb attack on a British army base in Germany.

Róisín was pregnant at the time of her arrest and had to endure months of humiliating and degrading treatment – including being strip-searched upwards of 70 times during her pregnancy – eventually giving birth under armed guard.

However, her planned extradition to Germany had to be halted when no credible evidence was produced to support the allegations. Róisín was released in April 1998.

But yesterday's court session in Belfast heard that the German authorities issued another arrest warrant in October of last year. Now, the British government appear determined to put the Tyrone mother-of-two through another judicial ordeal.

éirígí spokesperson Dáithí Mac An Mháistir issued an appeal for people to pay attention to Róisín's plight.

“Róisín McAliskey had no case to answer in 1996 when she was arrested and abused by the RUC and she has no case to answer now. The German authorities should show a bit of decency and withdraw the warrant immediately.

“This woman was effectively tortured by the machinations of the British judicial system and its proponents and just when she thought she was free to get on with her life they come for her again.

“In cases like this, not least Róisín's own initial one, it has been proven that focusing the maximum public attention can have a positive impact – people should stay up to date with Róisín's plight and stay prepared to visibly support her right to justice – éirígí are prepared to play their part in demanding the dropping of the spurious charges.”

Róisín was released on bail and is due to appear again to face the extradition warrant next month.