Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams have appealed to US political leaders to support calls for the release of political prisoner Marian Price.

A long time Republican, Price, 58, was jailed for her involvement with the IRA bombings in London in 1973. She was arrested in May 2011 and charged with encouraging support of the IRA after a dissident Republican rally in Derry on Easter Sunday. She was later released on bail but the then Northern Ireland Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, revoked her license (parole) and ordered her back to prison.

The two Sinn Féin leaders have written to the senior political figures in the US seeking their support for her release and asking that they lobby the British and Irish government.

In a joint letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Congressman Peter King and Democratic Party leader Richard Neal, the Sinn Féin leaders ask for their support.

In their statement they describe Price’s imprisonment as “a serious case of injustice and denial of human rights and judicial rights in the North of Ireland.”

“We believe that her detention is unjust and runs contrary to the principles of natural justice. She has been detained without trial on the basis of secret reports by British intelligence agencies.

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“Everyone is entitled to due process and to a fair trial. Mrs Price McGlinchey has been denied this, representing, in our view, a serious breach of her human rights.

“We believe very strongly that Marian Price McGlinchey should be released. Her human rights have been breached. She has been denied justice and due process. She is seriously ill. Her detention undermines the justice system and the political process. She clearly presents no threat to anyone.”

The letter concludes: “I am writing to ask that you use your considerable influence and raise
this case and the release of Marian Price McGlinchey with the British and Irish governments.

Price remains in the City Hospital in Belfast, following deterioration in her physical and mental health, after she was held in virtually solitary confinement in prison.

She is due to appear in court again on November 21.

Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinnessAP