Members of the Wootton family gathered earlier today (Sunday 18th July) at Maghaberry Prison in an effort to help highlight the ongoing discrimination directed at their son, John Paul Wootton. John Paul is currently fighting an ongoing miscarriage of justice campaign along side Brendan McConville, in the case known as the Craigavon Two.
As family and friends gathered at the gates of Maghaberry Prison, a letter of protest was delivered to the Prison Governor by John Paul's mother, Sharon Wootton. In a statement issued on behalf of the Wootton family during today's protest action read:
Today the 18th July, the Wootton family, supported by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) trade union, held a small demonstration outside the gates of Maghaberry prison. Our purpose was to show solidarity and love to John Paul and call for an end to the discrimination to which he has been subjected by the prison authorities.
Over the years John Paul has been denied many of the opportunities readily available to the other prisoners and has had restrictions imposed and above those endured by others. In recent times we have engaged in a lobbying campaign, reaching out to those with influence, in an attempt to improve the situation.
Unfortunately, despite best effort‘s issues remain on resolved. It is John Paul view that many of the problems he faces could be dealt with by transferring to Maghilligan prison. However, despite the fact that he meets the prison service criteria, he remains in Maghaberry.
John Paul first applied for a move two years ago but the present service has constantly prevaricated, stalled and at times completely ignored his request. Two years, is a long time when others with only a matter of weeks.
This is a clear case of discrimination and we will not standby silently. We tend to continue to support John Paul and his fight for justice as we have done for over 12 years now and we will continue that fight until he is freed and fully acquitted. We will also make every effort to ensure he is treated properly whilst being held by the state. We decided against issue a public call for support on this occasion in order to keep attendance low. This was due to the ongoing threat from COVID-19. However, we do not rule out such a thing in the future.