Tag Archives: solitary

John Bowden in Solitary Confinement in HMP Shotts

UPDATE: John is now out of solitary and has been transfered to yet another wing of the prison as he still refuses to submit to the prison authorities vindictive attempts at coercion. He would gladly receive any messages of support or other correspondence.

From UK Indymedia:

Last week John Bowden was put in solitary confinement in HMP Shotts. He continues to receive mail so please keep in touch and send him messages of support:
John Bowden – 6729,
HMP Shotts
Cantrell Road

John Bowden has been put into solitary confinement in HMP Shotts in Scotland. This was done after allegations that he was part of the “jail-wide” organisation of a sit down protest in the exercise yard, despite the fact that there was no evidence, the apparent protest did not take place and no-one else was punished for the “jail-wide threat”.

Despite the recent recommendation by the parole board that John Bowden be moved back to an open prison, the Scottish Prison Service, earlier this year, transferred him to Shotts, the most secure prison in the country. This was a blatant punishment move, one of hundreds John Bowden has undergone since he was imprisoned in 1978 – YES 1978!

By ‘coincidence’ the governor of Shotts, Ian Whitehead, was previously governor of Castle Huntley open jail, where John Bowden (and the Anarchist Black Cross) was the victim of an orchestrated campaign of lies in which an American psychologist, Matt Stillman, smeared the ABC as a “terrorist organisation” with which John was in contact.

After a robust campaign led by Leeds ABC, and by John himself of course, the Scottish Prison Service were forced to climb down, and Stillman’s career was ruined. John has never been forgiven for having the courage and integrity to stand his ground, and the SPS have not forgotten how they were humiliated.

Once again, we ask comrades to help shine an international spotlight on SPS abuse, and to support John in his long battle for freedom.

Please send letters of support to John at the following address:

John Bowden
HMP Shotts
Cantrell Road

And letters of protest to:

Ian Whitehead
HMP Shotts
Cantrell Road

Scottish Prison Service HQ
Calton House
5 Redheughs Rigg
EH12 9HW

The Parole Board
Grenadier House
99-105 Horseferry Road

More info:
John on the Prison System:  http://leedsabc.org/?page_id=116
Another Punishment Move:  http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/08/483649.html
Interview with John:  http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/05/369954.html
John on the Scottish Prison Service:  http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/05/479691.html
The Price You Pay for Speaking Out:  http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2007/05/369431.html

John has also been working very hard to expose the torture of inmates in Close Supervision Centres, the use of prison psychologists in the repression of prisoners, and behaviour modification techniques against prisoners with serious mental health problems.
John on CSCs:  http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2011/03/476629.html

Active Solidarity freesheet, Jock Palfreeman, and letter writing night

Our friends at the long running Brighton ABC group have just released the latest issue of their Active Solidarity freesheet. You can download it as a pdf here Active Solidarity_Mar10 and do pass it on.

One of the political prisoners they feature is Jock Palfreeman, whose case we featured back in December here. Jock is serving 20 years in a Bulgarian prison after defending himself against a large gang of nazis, one of whom he killed in self-defence, and wounded another. He has 2 chances of appeal to different levels of courts before his sentence is finalised. A letter just received from him in Bristol, and sent in mid-February, finds him in fine form, although when refering to the appeals he believes they are a bit of a foregone conclusion, not least because some judges were at the funeral of the nazi he killed. However since he sent that letter, matters have taken a turn for the worse for him, as revealed on his campaign website FreeJockon 19 February he was placed in complete isolation (solitary confinement), the first prisoner to be so treated. In fact he could be there for upto 2 years whilst the appeals procedure is exhausted, which is an outrageous injustice designed to intimidate prisoners from appealing miscarriages of justice. Please check the links on FreeJock here and here and get sending letters of protest on his behalf. Continue reading