Just Stop Oil accuses government of ‘illegally imprisoning’ Bristol student after protest

Roly Holland-Howes, 19, was imprisoned over the weekend despite being granted bail on Friday

Just Stop Oil has accused the government of “illegally imprisoning” a student from the University of Bristol after they were arrested following a Just Stop Oil protest on Wednesday (15th November).

Roly Holland-Howes, a 19 year-old biology student, was remanded in HMP Pentonville over the weekend despite being granted bail on Friday (17th November) after he was arrested for slow marching along Earls Court Road in support of Just Stop Oil.

The Ministry of Justice told The Bristol Tab that the reason for the delay in his release was “paperwork issues” and important checks needing to be completed.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that following his arrest, “Roly Holland-Howes was charged with an offence under Section seven of the Public Order Act in the early hours of Thursday, 16th November” and “remanded in custody to appear at court later that day.”

It added: “He [Howes] had previously been arrested on Monday 13th November, for the same offence, during a JSO slow march along the A41 in Hendon” and “he remains on police bail in relation to that incident.”

According to a spokesperson for Just Stop Oil, Howes “appeared at court on CVP from prison on Friday and was granted bail,” however, the “prison did not let him out” due to “paperwork issues”.

The official Just Stop Oil account consequently launched a campaign on the social media platform X where it labelled the act “illegal” and encouraged users to call HMP Pentonville to demand for Howes’ immediate release.

As a result of this campaign, the Governor of HMP Pentonville, Ian Blakeman, came under significant pressure and subsequently facilitated a call between Howes and his family, who confirmed that he was doing well.

The Ministry of Justice confirmed to The Bristol Tab that Howes was finally released yesterday (20th November).

A HM Prison and Probation Service spokesperson said: “We are looking into this matter.”

Regarding Howes’ arrest, a spokesperson for Just Stop Oil said: “Our government is waging war on the young by criminally pursuing new oil and gas which will destroy any chance we have of a liveable future and then illegally imprisoning those, like Roland, who are peacefully resisting.

“Young people are sick and tired of waiting for meaningful action. We have been failed, left in a situation that is beyond fucked. But instead of backing down, we must unite, and come together to fight back.”

Cover image credit via @pinnpix

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