P.O. BOX 5520, Newbury, Berks. RG14 7YW.
Tel: 01635 45544 Fax: 01635 45545 24 hr info: 01635 550552
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: http://www.gn.apc.org/newbury
Immediate Release 12th August 1996
King Arthur Forcibly De-robed
King Arthur Uther Pendragon, currently on remand at HMP Bullingdon, was forcibly de-robed on Friday, after refusing, on religious grounds to voluntarily remove his druid attire.
The King refused first a request, then a personal order from the governor, maintaining that due to his religious beliefs, he was entitled to wear his robes (Arthur is a practising druid/pagan priest). He was then held down by 4 wardens, one of whom held his fingers in Arthur's nostrils, while his robes were torn from him. He was then put into solitary confinement for an indefinite period, and he is now refusing to don any other clothing
"In a country which professes to be free and democratic, all religions should have equal treatment. I have not even been found guilty, and have been treated unfairly and unethically, and I would rather go naked than abandon my spiritual beliefs"
King Arthur was arrested on the Newbury by-pass route on the 5th August and will appear in court , torn robes and all, on the 14th August, charged with Aggravated trespass.
Meanwhile, Arthur's prison mate, Chris Dench has entered his second week of hunger strike, in protest against the "draconian" bail conditions known as the Newbury sausage. His appeal against the conditions is being heard in the High Court tomorrow. There will be a one-day fast/hunger strike in support of Chris, with campaigners being asked to donate savings on food to the anti-bypass campaign to be used for future prisoner support.
1) King Arthur lays claim to the following titles:-
Honoured Pendragon, Glastonbury Order of Druids
Official Swordbearer, Secular Order of Druids
Titular head and Chosen Chief, Loyal and Arthurian Warband
A member of the Council of British Druid Orders
Bard of the free Gorsedd of Caer Abiri
Swordbearer to the Cotswold Order of Druids
Champion of the free and open Gorsedd of Caer Baddon
2) Arthur refused to remove his robes, as all remand prisoners are normally allowed to wear their own clothing, and also under page 5 of the Prison Discipline Manual
"Such prisoners are entitled to the diet and dress which accord with the requirements of religion"
3) He has been segregated under Rule 43 in the interests of good order and discipline
4) The Pagan Federation media hotline number is 01691 671066
4) Chris Dench has been on hunger strike since the 1st August
Further Information: Cath at the Third Battle of Newbury Office 01635 45544