28 February 2006

Anger at PSNI harassment of Ogra Shinn Féin member

Sinn Féin

Published: 28 February, 2006

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has said that the harassment and intimidation of an Ogra Shinn Féin member as he travelled from Omagh to Belfast is totally unacceptable and evidence of the routine and targeted nature of political policing.

Mr Doherty said:

"The intention of the PSNI involved in this incident was to try and intimidate a young member of Sinn Féin. This is political policing at its‚ most basic and corrupt level. The attempt to harass and intimidate a political activist is totally unacceptable."

Describing the incident Ogra Shinn Féin member Barra Mac an fhaili said:

"I was on my way to Belfast on Friday, 24th February, on the 5.30 pm bus to Belfast from the Omagh Translink Bus Depot. I was on the bus about 10 minutes, on the Dublin Road, Omagh when the bus was stopped by two PSNI cars. They had their sirens on and their lights were flashing.

"A PSNI member boarded the bus and after a short time approached me and asked me to leave the bus with my bags. When searching the contents of my bag a number of items, including election literature, were thrown onto the roadside. Despite not asking for my details at least one of the PSNI officers knew my name.

"This was clearly a deliberate attempt to try and frighten me. I was held for 15 minutes and questioned me on my movements on that day, why and how long I was going to Belfast for and who I was meeting up with in Belfast."ENDS

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