Sinn Féin - On Your Side

British lay siege to South Armagh

17 June, 2004


Newry & Armagh Sinn Féin Assembly member Davy Hyland has accused the PSNI and British Army of attempting to demonise and intimidate the South Armagh community after they have laid siege to the area.

Mr Hyland said,

" This morning the PSNI and British Army used the pretext of a suspected bomb to enter the South Armagh. They have since went on to lay siege to the area, a siege which is still ongoing.

" This entire operation which we are led to believe also involves 26 County State forces supporting the British Army and PSNI is seen as little more than an exercise in community intimidation and punishment. People are being stopped and searched all over South Armagh, our offices have been inundated with complaints from local residents who have been stopped, searched and abused by the Crown Forces.

" Those individuals and political parties who provide the political cover for these sorts of operations need now to publicly explain to the people of South Armagh their views on today's disgraceful activity.

" This sort of well planned attack on an entire community goes to show just how far removed the PSNI are from the sort of policing service demanded by the Good Friday Agreement. South Armagh is the most militarised area in the six counties, it does not take this sort of massive operation to deal with individuals who the PSNI suspect of engaging in illegal activity. This operation crosses that line and will be seen by local people as an attack not on individuals suspected of engaging in illegal activity but on the entire South Armagh community." ENDS

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