WITHIN the past three weeks two cases have been reported of men signing confessions to crimes after being interrogated by the police — crimes they never committed.
One man confessed to theft: the other to murder. It was later shown that the confessions were untrue and the man signed because of fear or ignorance. In one case. Judge's Rules, which are safeguards for suspects, were ignored by the police Sunday Times. March 29.
In June 1978 Amnesty International published a report in which it said that at least 70 per cent of prisoners in jail for political and associated offences under the Emergency Provisions act were there because of confessions they had signed.
These confessions are extracted in Interrogation Centres such as the one at Castlereagh in Belfast and Gough in Armagh. according to the Amnesty and Bennet's report.
Pope Paul VI, in speaking of torture, said that torture degrades not only the person who is tortured, but also the person who inflicts it as it lessens respect for human dignity. How then can people be expected to have respect for law and order and for the forces representing law? Because of these centres, more and more people being alienated from what they see as "law". People who despair of justice turn to whoever or whatever offers them hope. Those two cases took place in this country. By highlighting them the Press may have forestalled others. let us hope so. Fr Dermot Mills, OMI Crewe Cheshire