EXTERNAL AI Index: EUR 45/05/97
18 March 1997
Further information on UA 46/97 (EUR 45/01/97, 7 February 1997) - Cruel, Inhuman
or Degrading Treatment / Health Concern
Amnesty International notes that the conditions in which Róisín McAliskey,
who is seven months pregnant, is being held in Holloway Prison pending
extradition to Germany have been improved to a certain extent. The organization
also welcomes the decision to allow her to give birth in a civilian hospital
without being shackled and to keep her baby after his/her birth at the prison.
On 7 March Róisín McAliskey was given a new categorisation for detention: instead
of being a "high risk" Category A prisoner, she is now deemed to be a "standard
risk" prisoner. This has resulted in a dramatic decrease in strip-searching.
She has also been allowed a daily period of two-hour association with other
prisoners, although in the presence of prison guards. However, this means that
she still spends most of the day in her cell and she is still being denied
permission to exercise in the prison yard with other prisoners. Her application
for bail was denied on 14 March on the grounds that there was a danger that
if freed she might abscond.
On 13 March the authorities decided that she will be allowed to keep her baby
after birth at the mother-and-baby unit of Holloway Prison. However, Amnesty
International has been informed that there is a shortage of spaces in this
unit, and that mothers are not told how long they will be allowed to stay there.
Amnesty International will continue to monitor the conditions in which Róisín
McAliskey is detained, as well as her medical care.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send one final round of appeals in English
or in your own language:
- noting the improvement in the conditions in which Róisín McAliskey is being
- seeking assurances that she will not be subjected to cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment at any time during her detention.
Michael Howard, QC, MP
Secretary of State for the Home Department
The Home Office
50 Queen Anne's Gate
London SW1H 9AT, United Kingdom
Faxes: +171 273 3965
Telegrams: Michael Howard, Home Office, London, UK
Salutation: Dear Secretary of State
COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of the United Kingdom accredited to your
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 29 April 1997.