IRSP Protest Treatment of Class Struggle Prisoner Mark Barnsley

Danielle Ni Dhighe nidhighe at
Sat Feb 17 19:05:58 MST 2001

17 February 2001

Martin Narey, Director General of Prisons;
Bill Bade, Directorate of High Security Prisons; and
Peter Atherton, Director of High Security Prisons;
Prison Service Headquarters
Cleland House, Page Street
London   SWT 4LN


It is our understanding Mark Barnsley was put in segregation at HMP
Frankland in Durham on January 17th, for seemingly no justifiable reason.
Along with two other prisoners, Mark was simply taken off the wing and put
in segregation, under the good order and discipline rule. It has been
reported to us that he was accused of "fomenting unrest on the wing,"
though it is unclear what this was meant to include. Our understanding is
that the prison has yet to cite a single incident that might support this

Then we understand he was moved to HMP Wakefield in West Yorkshire on
February 1st, again without advance notice or seeming cause. This is the
twentieth prison that Mark Barnsley has been held in since being originally
incarcerated. This constant movement through the prison system seems to
serve no purpose other than unjustified harassment. To make matters worse,
we understand that after being transferred to HMP Wakefield, Mark was then
held in segregation an additional two weeks in a cell the temperature of
which dropped below freezing most nights. After initially being offered the
opportunity to leave segregation, we understand that you sought to put him
in a cell that was filled with sentenced sex offenders, an option which not
surprisingly he declined, causing him to remain in segregation.

We are further at a loss to understand what possible justification can be
given for the prison administration to allow Mark all of his mail.

The Irish Republican Socialist Party's International Department believes
this continued harassment represents little more than a vendetta, aimed at
Mark Barnsley for political reasons and having nothing to do with
legitimate security concerns, disruptive behavior, or anything of the kind.
We call upon you to cease this outrageous mistreatment and move Mark
Barnsley to another a prison near where he has family immediately, such as
HMP Garth in Lancashire.

The entire course of Mark Barnsley's experience as a prisoner of the
British State exposes that prison system as vicious, draconian, and
contemptuous of the human rights of its prisoners. Once again, Britain
stands shamed around the world for its treatment of political prisoners--or
would be if those administering the prison system had any honour in the
first place and were therefore capable of being moved by shame. The case of
Mark Barnsley is an unbelievable outrage and this continued harassment must

We demand that you transfer Mark Barnsley to a more appropriate prison,
near his family, and that you put an end to this continued harassment.

Is mise,

Peter Urban
North American Coordinator
Irish Republican Socialist Party

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