Since our last post about the situation at HMP Berwyn we have two updates to share.
The first is that on the 23rd of February the issue was brought before the Senedd (the Welsh parliament) at First Minister’s Questions. A transcript of the exchange can be found here. The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, stated that the Welsh Language Commissioner will be meeting with Berwyn representatives on March 2nd to discuss the situation. We’ll see what comes of this, and judge any outcomes based on the views of people inside.
The second update is that in response to public and political pressure the Berwyn administration have offered concessions to Rhodri ab Eilian and relocated him within the prison. Rhodri would like to thank everyone who wrote on his behalf and raised awareness about the situation at the prison. The issues at Berwyn, however, do not affect only Rhodri but everyone incarcerated there, and consequently the PSN does not consider this situation adequately resolved. To make matters worse, Rhodri was moved during an internal covid ‘firebreak’ within the prison, and has since developed symptoms of the illness. This obviously does little to reassure us about the safety and wellbeing of those currently confined there.
Conditions at HMP Berwyn, and across the prison estate, remain dire, and prisoners across the UK continue to be disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. None of this will change without active intervention. If you want to get involved, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org