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PSNI Accused of brutality in Castlederg

2 March, 2009

Castlederg Sinn Féin Councillor Ruairí McHugh has accused the PSNI of brutality following an incident in Hillview Park in the town which resulted in two brothers being hospitalised after being beaten and attacked with CS Spray.

Cllr Mc Hugh said:

"Brutality is the only way to describe what happened to these two brothers in the early hours of Saturday morning when PSNI officers arrived at their Hillview Park home.

"One of the brothers, who was still awake downstairs, answered the door and was told by the PSNI that they were looking for someone who they know doesn't even live there. Rebel music was being played in the living room, and on hearing it one of the PSNI officers told him to turn that 'sh..e off' or he would turn it off. At that his other brother, who had been sleeping upstairs, came down to see what the commotion was. PSNI officers were trying to get into the house but the brothers wouldn't let them. The PSNI then manhandled the brothers onto the street before punching, kicking and spraying them with CS gas in the face.

"The PSNI hurriedly left when neighbours began coming out onto the street. An ambulance arrived on the scene and the two victims were bought to the A&E at Altnagelvin hospital where they were treated for various injuries including blisters and burns to the face.

"Later yesterday morning, and after being discharged from hospital, the brothers went straight to Strabane Barracks to lodge an official complaint. However, in what local people see as a clear attempt to counter their brutality, PSNI officers landed in force at the brothers' home yesterday evening and cautioned one of the brothers for disorderly behaviour.

"I have spoken to both victims and while they are badly shaken by the ordeal they are nonetheless determined to pursue the PSNI officers responsible through their solicitor and through the Police Ombudsman. This incident has set back confidence within the local nationalist community about the ability of PSNI to act in a non-partisan manner and it requires urgent investigation." ENDS

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