November 17, 1998 16:47

FREE SATPAL RAM

Claim that jailed man is being victimised for political activism...

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Primal Scream and Asian Dub Foundation contacted NME last week to slam the British prison system over the continued plight of SATPAL RAM.

Satpal, an Asian man who was jailed for murder in 1986 after defending himself from a racist attack, was put in solitary confinement last week by prison chiefs at Frankland prison, Durham, for advising fellow inmates to refuse squat searches (an anal search).

Acting as spokesman for Satpal Ram, BOBBY GILLESPIE told NME: "Me and ANDREW (INNES) got a call from Satpal two days ago and he told us the situation. He has been victimised because he's active politically.

"He also gets moved around a lot from prison to prison; it's called ghosting, it's designed to lower his morale. Every time he makes friends at a prison he gets moved. He's been in about 50 prisons."

On December 12, 1997, the Parole Board refused Satpal parole and put back his parole review for two years until December 12, 1999. In their rejection letter the Parole Board admitted that the constant moving of Satpal from prison to prison was not helping him and recommended that he be allowed to stay in one prison for a significant period of time.

Of being put in solitary, a prison spokesman said: "He was challenging the regime of the prison by encouraging others to challenge the regime. We ask the prisoners to do this (squat search) if they are suspected of concealing something."

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PANDIT G from Asian Dub Foundation is urging NME readers to contact Satpal and to write letters to Home Secretary JACK STRAW about "the brutality within the British prison system".

He said: "It is so important at this time, when he is in solitary, for him to know his supporters are out there and to let the Prison Authority know what we think of his treatment and what is happening with his case."

You can write to: Satpal Ram E94 164, HMP Frankland, Brasside, Durham DH1 5YD.

In March this year Primal Scream and Asian Dub Foundation played a benefit gig to raise money for Satpal Ram supporters and ADF released the single 'Free Satpal Ram'.

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