Submariner Released but League Urge CPT to Scrutinise Military Prisons

NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE

The Royal Navy submariner Able Seaman McNeilly who had expressed concerns about safety issues on British nuclear submarines has been discharged from the Service.

The MOD has released no other details although Mr McNeilly has again spoken out.

Since ABS McNeilly was arrested the Celtic League had been pressing the United Kingdom and International authorities over the circumstances of his detention. See links at the foot of this article.

We pressed the CPT again on the issue about ten days ago and have now advised them of his release. We have, however, asked the CPT to consider carrying out an inspection of MOD service prison facilities which we had earlier requested as we believe our research revealed serious shortcomings in how they operate.

Copies of correspondence to the CPT (11th and 18thof June) are set out below:

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

11th June 2015

Dear Sir,

I wrote to you on two occasions in May enquiring if CPT had responsibilities in relation to military facilities used as places of detention. My correspondence was on the back of concerns about the detention in well publicised circumstances of a Royal Navy Able Seaman William McNeilly who had publicly expressed concerns over nuclear safety and was subsequently arrested.

This is to update the Committee in relation to the matter.

I have not been able to locate the detention facility at which this man is detained however the Ministry of Defence have responded via Navy Command at Portsmouth to our general concern over conditions at detention facilities.

Specifically they drew our attention to a report (link below) compiled by HMIP on these detention facilities. This as far as I am aware is the first time the facilities have been inspected by any independent body since they were reorganised in 2009. I do not believe that prior to 2009 the facilities which preceded them were externally inspected.

I am bound to say that even on a cursory examination the HMIP report does not make good reading.

It is clear that conditions are extremely basic at the multiplicity of sites the UK armed forces use for detaining personnel no training for staff is provided at some and the monitoring of abuse appears to be non existent.

We also note that military detention facilities can be used to hold persons under eighteen years of age a matter we feel sure will be an issue of concern to the UNCRC who we intend to alert to this fact.

We also note concerns expressed in the report about the facilities for women, ethnic minorities and persons with disability.

As indicated in our earlier correspondence we would be grateful if the CPT could advise if such facilities for detention fall within their purview. If not I will take the matter to other International rights bodies.

[Link within letter.]

Yours sincerely,

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information”

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

18th June 2015

Dear Sir,

I have written to you on several occasions in the past few weeks enquiring if CPT had responsibilities in relation to military facilities used as places of detention.

My correspondence was prompted by the detention in well publicised circumstances of a Royal Navy Able Seaman, William McNeilly, who had publicly expressed concerns over nuclear safety and was subsequently arrested.

This is to update the Committee in relation to the matter.

The MOD says ABS McNeilly has been discharged from the services and released. I do not doubt this was in no small part due to the efforts of ourselves and others and concerns over the conditions of his detention.

Although Mr McNeilly’s case is now resolved we trust the CPT will still (if its remit allow) inspect military prison facilities in the United Kingdom .

Yours sincerely,

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information

Related links:

Celtic League Caution MOD About Treatment of Sub Safety Whistle Blower
Detained Submariner Reply Disturbing Report on Military Detention Facilities
Assault at Detention Centre Where Sub Safety Whistle Blower May Be Held

J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
Celtic League

18/06/15

(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.)

ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.

The Celtic League was established in 1961 and 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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