Feb 11

Defend Rhodri! Retaliation at Berwyn

CN: Violence, threats of violence
 

The Prisoner Solidarity Network have just received news that Rhodri ab Eilian was assaulted by prison staff at HMP Berwyn yesterday (10th February 2021). This attack comes less than two weeks after Rhodri stepped forward to speak publicly about discrimination, racism, and the denial of language rights at the prison. Both Rhodri and the PSN see this assault as a clear example of retaliatory violence and call on everyone to mobilise urgently in Rhodri’s defence. Following yesterday’s attack, one of the staff involved threatened further violence, telling another prisoner he was going to “punch his little head in.” Rhodri knew the risks and still did what’s right. It’s our responsibility now to defend him.
 

We’re calling on people to:
 

  • Contact relevant authorities to demand Rhodri’s safety and ensure disciplinary action is taken against the responsible staff. We’ve compiled a list of contacts below and a template email you can use.
     

  • Contact the prison governor, Nick Leader, and make your feelings about the issue clear. Nick Leader can be contacted at nick.leader@hmps.gsi.gov.uk
     

  • Tweet HMP Berwyn at @OfficialBerwyn and reply to their posts to raise awareness about what conditions are really like.
     

Prisons Ombudsman: mail@ppo.gov.uk
 

Chief Inspector of Prisoners: hmiprisons.enquiries@hmiprisons.gov.uk
 

Independent Monitoring Board: imb@justice.gov.uk
 

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner – Arfon Jones: OPCC@nthwales.pnn.police.uk
 

Local MP – Sarah Atherton: sarah.atherton.mp@parliament.uk
 

Senedd Member Wrexham – Lesley Griffiths: Lesley.Griffiths@senedd.wales
 

Senedd Regional Member North Wales – Michelle Brown: michelle.brown@senedd.wales
 

Senedd Regional Member North Wales – Llyr Gruffydd: llyr.gruffydd@senedd.wales
 

Senedd Regional Member North Wales – Mark Isherwood: mark.isherwood@senedd.wales
 

Senedd Regional Member North Wales – Mandy Jones: mandy.jones@senedd.wales
 

Welsh Affairs Committee: welshcom@parliament.uk
 

Welsh Language Commissioner: post@cyg-wlc.cymru
 


 

To whom it may concern,
 

I’m contacting you to request an urgent intervention in response to staff violence at HMP Berwyn. You will be aware of ongoing concerns about discrimination, racism, and the denial of language rights at the prison. Yesterday (10th February 2021), less than two weeks after speaking publicly about conditions at Berwyn, Rhodri ab Eillian was assaulted by staff. Despite being fully compliant with instructions, ab Eillian was mobbed by a group of prison officers and subject to unprovoked and excessive restraint, leaving him with shooting pains through one arm and shoulder and bruising. His injuries have been logged by prison healthcare staff. This has been followed today by further threats from officer 777 – one of the group involved in the assault.
 

There is the clear implication this attack was retaliatory, following immediately on from ab Eillian’s public statements about staff misconduct at the prison. The use of intimidation and violence to suppress such allegations is completely unacceptable. This incident only exacerbates existing concerns regarding the management of the prison.
 

I’m contacting you to request you support calls to ensure ab Eillian’s safety and that appropriate measures are taken to address the prison officers responsible.
 

Yours sincerely,