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by Paul Doyle
Saturday, Apr. 15, 2006 at 12:11 PM
Irish prisioner Aiden Hulme has been subject to shocking medical neglect since his inprisonment in England and will loose his leg if immidiate action is not taken.
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aiden_hume.jpgtqkmvs.jpg, image/jpeg, 99x152
Irish prisoner suffering extreme medical neglect in English prison.
For immediate release
Issued by the New Republican Forum, March 31st 2006
An Irish prisoner serving a 22-year sentence in HM Belmarsh Prison in England may have to undergo an operation to remove his leg as a result of extreme medical neglect.
27-year-old Aiden Hulme was imprisoned for alleged involvement in the 2000/2001 ‘Real’ IRA bombing campaign in London. Prior to his arrest and imprisonment Aiden was involved in a serious motorcycle accident that left him with a severely injured leg. In the immediate aftermath of the accident he was receiving medical treatment at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and his condition was improving at the time of his detention. However, subsequent to his arrest and imprisonment in Britain’s notorious Belmarsh Special Secure Unit [SSU], Aiden’s medical condition began to deteriorate at an alarming rate.
In response to intense political pressure the Belmarsh authorities reluctantly acquired the services of a medical specialist and doctor to examine Aiden’s injured leg. After a brief examination the Belmarsh-appointed specialist informed him that the injured leg should be amputated. Aiden’s family and friends, disturbed by and suspicious of this opinion, immediately sought a second opinion.
After intensive and prolonged political lobbying by the Irish Political Status Committee and other human rights groups an independent specialist was permitted access to Belmarsh SSU to examine Aiden. After the examination the independent specialist deemed the limb “saveable” – contrary to the opinion of the prison-appointed specialist. However, the independent specialist insisted it was essential that Aiden receive appropriate medical treatment without further delay, warning he “feared the worst” if adequate treatment was not forthcoming. Aiden underwent surgery, but due to continuing medical neglect he is now once again facing amputation.
Not only is Aiden still being denied proper treatment but astonishingly, the Full Sutton prison authorities have decided to gradually withdraw his pain-killing medication. No alternative medication has been offered on the grounds that the pain in his leg is “purely psychological”. The painkilling medication Aiden is receiving has also been called into question. He has been suffering from bouts of short-term memory loss which he believes are triggered by its use.
Michael Holden of the Irish Political Status Committee who is at the forefront in highlighting Aiden’s plight informs us that Aiden, along with all other republican prisoners in Full Sutton, are currently being confined to their cells 23 hours a day. He says: “this is probably because we have been drawing attention to Aiden’s and the rest of the lads’ plight recently, and also due to the fact that Aiden’s legal team is taking the Home Office to court over the coming weeks due to the medical neglect Aiden has suffered”
SDLP leader Mark Durkan has contacted the British Home Office and the Department of Justice requesting that Aiden’s repatriation application be processed without delay.
Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin has also called on the Irish Government to intervene immediately. He said: “Aiden Hulme’s application for repatriation to an Irish prison has been with Michael McDowell in the Irish Department of Justice since last September (2005). I call on Mr McDowell to process this application immediately so that Aiden Hulme can come back where he will be close to his family and receive the much needed medical attention that he is entitled to.”
Aiden’s legal team has initiated proceedings against HMP Full Sutton on account of the treatment meted out to him.
Various other political and humantarian groups have spoken out about this case and an online petition has been lauched at: http://www.petitiononline.com/87bb92a/petition.html
For information visit www.ia-pl.org or www.newrepublicanforum.ie
The New Republican Forum,
PO Box 10,
Dundalk Sorting Office,
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