Over a thousand a month detained by British
Sinn Fein spokesperson on Human Rights, Caitriona Ruane, was
stopped and harassed by the Crown forces in a week in which
figures were released showing some 15,000 others suffered a
similar fate in the past 12 months.
Ms Ruane said the news that 14,910 had been stopped and search
in the past year under repressive special legislation was "a
disturbing and shocking" statistic, but not surprising.
"Sinn Fein have long said that if you place instruments of
repression into the hands of unaccountable individuals within
the PSNI who have a long record of human rights abuses then
these weapons of repression will be used.
"These figures show a force clearly using repressive measures
with relish. This picture is far removed from the one
continually portrayed by leading SDLP members who endorse this
type of repressive policing.
"Time and again be it through the use of plastic bullets, CS
gas, repressive legislation or the facilitation of anti-Catholic
parades the PSNI display to the world the true state of policing
in the six counties."
Last week, Ms Ruane was hersself stopped and held at a joint
British Army/PSNI check point. When she asked what legislation
she was being stopped under the PSNI officer said only:
"Legislation, just emergency legislation".
It was obvious to Ms Rusne that he was unable to clarify what
specific 'emergency legislation' she was being stopped under and
she said his manner became increasingly abrasive when she asked
why she was being harassed.
"Perhaps it would be an idea that before being sent out to
target nationalist communities members of the PSNI should at
least know what piece of draconian legislation that empowers
them to intimidate and annoy innocent people," she said.
"While I am aware this incident is well down the scale of
harassment nationalists have experienced throughout the past 30
years it does provide further evidence of the daily treatment
that nationalists are still experiencing at the hands of the