"However, I would emphasise once more that since Janice and Brian Docherty have never been accused of any crime, and are held to be excellent parents by the guardian ad litem appointed by an Irish court, they have no case to answer. Why then, in the interests of justice, has no attempt been made by British diplomatic staff in the Republic of Ireland to reunite this entirely innocent family and return them to their home country ? Although they were living in Scotland at the time when the unlawful attacks on them and their children began, they remain citizens of the UK, and, as such, deserve protection, and the justice which the Scottish authorities continue to withhold. If this unhappy family were being mistreated by some South American republic, or arrested for drug trafficking in south-east Asia, I have no doubt that the diplomatic service would have wasted no time in doing everything they could to secure their safe return. Why such reluctance in the Docherty`s case ?"
"The present situation of Melanie Shaw is particularly distressing. This is a woman who has been left vulnerable by crimes committed against her throughout her childhood and adolescence by public institutions. She has now been held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day for months on end."
"I quote the words of UN Special Rapporteur, Juan Méndez, with regard to the solitary confinement of prisoners:"
"Segregation, isolation, separation, cellular lockdown - whatever the name, solitary confinement should be banned by States as a punishment or extortion technique ... solitary confinement is a harsh measure which is contrary to rehabilitation, the aim of the penitentiary system."
"This being so, one can only conclude that the aim of the authorities in segregating Melanie from human contact has nothing to do with rehabilitation, and everything to do with contriving her mental breakdown, with a view to making her unable to testify to crimes against children which she witnessed at Beechwood children`s home. Or perhaps it is hoped to induce a suicide, or a condition which would make an apparent `suicide` sufficiently believable to pass muster, at least for those who are uninformed."
"Mr Méndez continues:"
"Indefinite and prolonged solitary confinement in excess of 15 days should also be subject to an absolute prohibition - Considering the severe mental pain or suffering solitary confinement may cause, it can amount to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment when used as a punishment, during pre-trial detention, indefinitely or for a prolonged period."
"Melanie has not been in solitary confinement for a mere 15 days. She has been in solitary confinement for much of the close-on six months which she has now spent behind bars. Nor does she know whether she is still on remand, or has been tried and condemned in camera and in absentia for an offence which has not been publicly specified, and for an indefinite period. Since her evidence regarding the crimes committed at Beechwood involves a prominent political figure, she may justifiably be considered to be a political prisoner."
"Once again , I do not believe that a country under the rule of law would tolerate imprisonment under such conditions, the more so when no trial by jury in open court, with the defendant decently funded and allowed to choose her own representation, has ever taken place. Nor do I believe that there is no means of putting things back immediately onto a lawful footing, should the Government so choose. But of course, where there is no will, there is no way."
The lack of response from the Lord Chancellor speaks volumes.