Northern Ireland

Bernie Sanders petitioned Thatcher over Hunger Strikes

Senator Bernie Sanders with his wife Jane, at a town hall meeting at Burke High School in Charleston, South Carolina. Picture by Evan Vucci, Associated Press 
Senator Bernie Sanders with his wife Jane, at a town hall meeting at Burke High School in Charleston, South Carolina. Picture by Evan Vucci, Associated Press  Senator Bernie Sanders with his wife Jane, at a town hall meeting at Burke High School in Charleston, South Carolina. Picture by Evan Vucci, Associated Press 

US presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders once tried to intervene in the Hunger Strikes by writing directly to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher telling her he was “deeply disturbed by the abuse, humiliation and degrading treatment” of the prisoners.

It emerged late on Thursday night that Mr Sanders, a senator for Vermont who is running to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for the White House, made his appeal to Mrs Thatcher in 1981 when he was mayor of Burlington.

The Daily Telegraph published a selection of papers from the politician’s archive which is housed in the University of Vermont.

In a letter dated July 15, 1981, two months after the death of Bobby Sands, he wrote: “We are deeply disturbed by your government’s unwillingness to stop the abuse, humiliation and degrading treatment of the Irish prisoners now on hunger strike in Northern Ireland.

“We ask you to end your intransigent policy towards the prisoners before the reputation of the English people for fair play and simple decency is further damaged in the eyes of the people of Vermont and the United States.”

The files also show that Mr Sanders took a keen interest in the Supergrass trials.

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