Friday, November 04, 2005

U.K. / U.S Attack Ireland’s sovereignty

The arrest of Seán Garland, president of the Workers Party of Ireland, by British police at the request of the United States has provoked an international outcry. Critics say that the arrest of Garland, an Irish citizen, is an attack on Ireland’s sovereignty.

Garland was heading for a WPI conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland, when he was arrested by British security forces Oct. 7. The U.S., which seeks Garland’s extradition on charges of trafficking counterfeit U.S. currency, worked with Britain because it did not believe that Ireland would extradite Garland.

Critics say that this amounts to kidnapping, and is a violation of Garland’s rights as an Irish citizen and a violation of Ireland’s right to self-determination.

The arrest received widespread condemnation, including from members of the national Legislature.

A letter signed by leaders of Ireland’s largest unions asked, “If these were serious charges, why did the United States government wait until Seán Garland was outside the jurisdiction of the Irish Republic before this warrant was served on him?” Noting Garland’s opposition to the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq, it said the charges were politically motivated.

Cuba and Venezuela said it is hypocritical that the U.S. would “kidnap” an Irish citizen for a nonviolent crime, while knowingly harboring Luis Posada Carriles, an admitted right-wing terrorist.


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