Lurgan republican, Colin Duffy, was assaulted earlier today by prison officers only minutes after he had taken part in a video link remand hearing. On being returned to the remand wing within Maghaberry prison, Mr Duffy was accompanied by two prison officers, both of whom he has described as being extremely hostile and antagonistic towards him.
During the strip search procedures, which Mr Duffy was fully compliant with, the two officers assaulted Mr Duffy before summoning for the prison riot squad, who then appeared at the search point dressed in full riot equipment.
Mr Duffy is believed to have received blows to the head, face and upper body and has severe bruising.
His family believe that the two prison officers had deliberately used the regular video-linked remand hearing to orchestrate the attack upon Colin. His wife Martine said, "Colin has undergone these strip searches on his way to and from this regular remand hearing. On all previous occasions, he has fully complied with the search procedures and there have been no untoward incidents involving him. However, those officers carrying out the so-called escort duties today were not the regular ones. Both were making very antagonistic comments to him beforehand and then used the excuse of the search procedures to carry out an unprovoked physical assault on Colin.
Two weeks ago another republican prisoner in Maghaberry was also injured when he too was assaulted by prison officers.