• February 22, 2015


The CPT has responded to concerns expressed by the Celtic League about the ongoing situation at Maghaberry Prison.

The League wrote to the both the Council of Europe CPT and the UN Special Rapporteur about the matter. A copy of the CPT response is set out below and immediately below that is a copy of our query:

“Strasbourg, 17 February 2015

Dear Mr Moffatt

I acknowledge receipt of your letter of 8 February 2015, addressed to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), in which you raise concerns over recent events at Maghaberry Prison in Northern Ireland and provide the Committee with a copy of your correspondence with David Ford, Minister of Justice of Northern Ireland and Juan Mendez, Special Rapporteur on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The contents of your letter have been brought to the attention of the Committee. Yours sincerely,”

Our original query:

“CPT Secretariat
Council of Europe
F67075 Strasbourg Cedex


Dear Sir,

I draw your attention to the attached letter to Mr David Ford MLA, Minister for Justice and also associated correspondence to Juan Mendez UN Special Rapporteur.

You will see from the correspondence that there ongoing concerns about the manner in which Maghaberry Prison is being operated.

The CPT will be aware that in the past you have inspected and raised concerns about this facility.

In our correspondence we refer to earlier assurances from Minister Ford in relation to the Prison however whatever steps were taken appear to have been ineffective in resolving inmate discontent at the facility.

Our main concerns are allegations that prisoners have been injured during the most recent disturbances and whilst the justice Ministers Office have refuted claims that a prisoner was ‘seriously’ injured this falls short of an admission that no one has been injured at all.

Mindful of the CPT Standards particularly clause 48 para (2), clause 51, clause 53, clause 54 and also clause 26 in the Extract from the 11th General Report [CPT/inf (2001) 16] covering ‘Staff prisoner relations’ we urge the CPT to undertake an investigation of circumstances at the facility.

Yours sincerely”

There has been no response, as yet, from the Office of Northern Ireland Government Justice Minister, David Ford, to similar concerns raised with him.

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur).


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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