• May 21, 2015


The Celtic League has followed up earlier correspondence to the body charged with ensuring that human rights are safeguarded at detention facilities about the Military Corrective Training Centre.

The League raised the issue because of concerns that submarine safety whistle-blower, Belfast man William McNeilly, will be detained there.

The League has written separately today to the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.

Since first contacting the CPT earlier today we have learned of a number of allegations of physical and sexual assault at the MCTC over a ten year period and we have alerted the CPT to this fact (see below).

“Mr Hugh Chetwynd
Head of Division
CPT Secretariat
Council of Europe
F67075 Strasbourg Cedex

20th May 2015

Dear Sir,

I write further to my correspondence concerning the Military Corrective Training Centre (Colchester) with you earlier today which due to a typing error was dated 29th May 2015.

I apologise for any inconvenience over the date error or over the need to raise the issue with the CPT on two occasions.

I have since learned via a freedom of information report (not from the Celtic League) that the MOD have;

a) Confirmed this is a detention facility (although they insist it is not a prison)
b) In the period from 1999 – 2010 there were 25 recorded allegations of physical and sexual abuse documented although the outcome of the allegations is not available. The allegations cover COMMON ASSAULT, ASSAULT OCCASIONING ABH, WOUNDING INFLICTING GBH, INDECENT ASSAULT and BATTERY

It would also appear from the correspondence we have seen that there are ‘other military detention centres within the Ministry of Defence’, though where these are is unknown to us at present.

Yours sincerely,

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”

The Ministry of Defence said in response to a FOI request (not from the Celtic League) that records of assaults at the MCTC and other MOD detention facilities for the period prior to 1999 could not be provided because the cost would be ‘disproportionate’.

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League


(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)


The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues

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