Pro-life leader assaulted by police during arrest over Life Display

Coleraine, Ireland - The director of Northern Ireland's leading pro-life group Precious Life was assaulted by police while being arrested for showing a pro-life display. The incident happened when police seized a display board in Coleraine town centre this afternoon (Saturday June 30). Bernadette Smyth received extensive bruising to her arm and had to undergo an examination by the police doctor. The 'Life Display' showed pictures of babies in the womb; information for woman suffering after abortion; and babies killed by abortion.


Members of Precious Life had set up their Life Display and information table in Coleraine at 2.00pm. The group had spent over an hour and a half distributing leaflets and collecting petition signatures when police officers arrived. The officer in charge claimed the pictures were "offensive" and demanded the display be taken down or he would confiscate it. Bernadette Smyth tried to explain that the Public Prosecution Service had ruled on previous occasions that the display was not illegal. The officer would not listen to her appeal. As he aggressively grabbed the display which Mrs Smyth was leaning on, her arm became wedged between the heavy wooden boards, resulting in severe bruising. She was then arrested for 'provocative conduct' and thrown it into the back of a police van.

Bernadette Smyth was held in custody for almost two hours, during which she had to be examined by a police doctor. She was released on bail and has since made a formal complaint against the arresting officer.

Alicea Brennan from Precious Life said "This heavy-handed action of the police was utterly disgraceful. Bernadette was assaulted and then arrested for trying to protect mothers and babies from abortion. Some of our pictures show the reality of abortion but it is the fact that little unborn babies are being killed which is truly offensive."

Source and more information: Hidden Ireland




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