INTRODUCTION: In Northern Ireland youths hurled petrol bombs at police and British soldiers when rioting broke out in three cities on Wednesday (15 April).
SVs Soldiers behind barricades (5 shots)
GV Road littered with rubble
SV Demonstration in West Germany (2 shots)
GV & SV Riot police and vans PAN TO placard (2 shots)
CU STILL of Debus
GV ZOOM SV Prison (2 shots)
SCU Door of cell 430
SV & GV INTERIOR Cell (2 shots)
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT)
WITCHELL: "The trouble came as the street campaign in support of Bobby Sands is being stepped up right across the province. After a peaceful rally in the centre of Londonderry petrol bombs and stones were thrown at the security forces by a large crowd of youths. Though troops fired plastic bullets in reply, there are no reports of serious casualties. This afternoon the mother and sister of Bobby Sands visited him in prison where he is on the 46th day of his hunger strike. They said they were told by a doctor that Mr. Sands has days rather than weeks to live."
REPORTER: NICHOLAS WITCHELL
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: In Northern Ireland youths hurled petrol bombs at police and British soldiers when rioting broke out in three cities on Wednesday (15 April). The violence in Belfast, Londonderry and Dungannon followed demonstrations by thousands of Catholics in support of Bobby Sands, who is on hunger strike in the Maze prison as a bid to gain political status for Irish Republican prisoners. Bobby Sands is serving a 14-year jail term for carrying arms and has been on hunger strike since the 2nd of March. Doctors say he has not long to live and campaigns in his support have spread throughout Northern Ireland. BBC's Nicholas Witchell reports.
SYNOPSIS: Meanwhile in West Berlin about a thousand demonstrators shadowed by a police guard staged a peaceful torchlight procession in solidarity with 24 hunger-striking urban guerrilla prisoners. One has already died and the rest are officially reported to be in a serious condition after their ten-week fast. The prisoners who are connected with the guerrilla red army faction went on hunger strike to press demands for prisoner of war status and better jail conditions.
The prisoner who died on Thursday (16 April) was 38-year old Sigurd Debus who had been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for robbery and attempted bomb attacks. Debus had been held in Hamburg prison but was transferred to a civilian hospital last Friday (10 April) because of the seriousness of his condition.
The hunger strikers scattered in top security prisons throughout West Germany have said they will call off their action if the authorities agree to their detention in groups of 10 to 15, but so far the authorities have rejected all the hunger-strikers' demands.