Welsh Language Society member imprisoned
Gwenno Teifi, a 19 year old member of Cymdeithas yr Iaith (Welsh Langauge Society), appeared for the second time at Carmarthen's Magistrate Court this morning and was imprisoned for 5 days. Ironically her original case was postponed as the court had made no provision for a Welsh language hearing (Carmarthenshire is the county with the highest number of Welsh speakers in Wales, but hey!).
She was arrested taking part in the Cymdeithas' campaign against Radio Carmarthenshire in July 2004, who are a commercial radio station serving the county, but despite the fact that over half of the county speak Welsh, the sation rarely had eny items in Welsh and refused to play Welsh music, even though this was a condition of them being granted a license. As part of the Cymdeithas campaign, members busrt into the studio to disrupt a broadcast. In April 2005 she was found guilty by Haverfordwest Magistrates for causing damage to Radio Carmarthenshire's studios in Narberth and she was ordered to pay court costs and compensation totaling £200. She refused to pay and stated:
"This Radio Station bears the name of the County in which I was brought up and their disregard of the Welsh Language is deplorable. If the Welsh Language is to live then it must become central to everything relevant to young people such as the local radio station."
"The old Language Act belongs to a bye gone age. We need a new Language Act which will ensure a proper place for Welsh in all the Media and technological developments of the new Century."
Any letters of support can be sent to:
Gwenno Teifi Ffransis
Young Offenders Wing
HMP Eastwood Park
Story on BBC Online