London’s death sentence for Brendan Lillis – Free Brendan Lillis


BY : Steve DIY


At Street Voice over the years we have supported many campaigns for Anti-Fascists, A.L.F. activists and other protesters jailed for fighting an unjust system. We believe that these people shouldn't be in prison in the first place. They aren't a danger to society so there is no need to incarcerate them. The case of Brendan Lillis is new to us but it's something that shocked us all at Street Voice. An innocent man incarcerated and left to die is something shocking. Whether you agree with the Republican cause or not I'm sure you can all find some empathy to help a dying man spend the rest of his days with his family and seek proper medical care. What we find even more appalling is the lack of coverage in the British Press. While they've run campaigns for celebrity gangsters such as Reggie Kray and Ronnie Biggs they've completely failed Brendan. They may argue that Brendan is a former I.R.A. prisoner. We would argue back that the likes Reggie Kray and Ronnie Biggs were hardly angels!!!! For the record none of us at Street Voice are Irish Republicans or members of any Irish Republican group. Street Voice is covering Brendan's plight simply because the British Govt are wrong and as decent human beings we aren't going to let this drop! Once you read the report regards Brendan and his plight we hope you act by getting your family and friends on board, contacting the press / other media outlets and contacting your MP. Don't give up. Please support Brendan and his partner Roisin Lynch. London's death sentence for Brendan Lillis Brendan, 59, a political prisoner in Maghaberry, has spent more than 600 days in the infirmary of the prison without being able to receive appropriate treatment for a serious illness. And this while the charges against him lapsed months ago. Violations of basic human rights, harassment, humiliation. We have spoken many times about the conditions of political prisoners in Northern Ireland. The recent dirty protest against the failure to enforce the agreement of August last year and that ended the "dirty protest" which begun at Easter 2010 against the living conditions in Maghaberry Prison. Former prisoners have told us how the practice of strip searching needlessly continue: the aim is to humiliate the Republicans prisoners, to impose a degrading treatment. In Maghaberry there is also the possibility of dying from medical negliance, and without being charged or sentenced. We're talking about Brendan Lillis, 59, a political prisoner who spent many years in prison following republican activities. So far Brendan has spent more than 610 days in the infirmary of the prison, without being given adequate care for a chronic rheumatic disease, ankylosing spondylitis, which melts the vertebrae of the spine and that can lead to death . Brendan's story He joined the Provisional IRA in 1971 and once imprisoned for possession of explosives and firearms, spent 16 years in Long Kesh, four of which on the Blanket Protest (when the Republicans decided to reject the prison uniforms imposed by the British and began to cover themselves only with their blankets). He was released in 1994 and returned to his home in west Belfast. But two years ago, in 2009, Brendan was again arrested in connection with a robbery in County Derry and not tied to Republicanism. Within hours of his detention, the British Secretary of State revoked his licence and returned him to prison. Recently, the Supreme Court in Belfast ruled that Brendan is unable to stand trial because of his health and therefore all the charges against him were dropped. Nevertheless, he has remained locked in the infirmary of the prison at Maghaberry. He is currently confined to bed, unable to speak at length, in a windowless cell. His condition is rapidly deteriorating. When he went to prison in 2009, weighed 79 kilos Brendan, but now he weighs 37. This state of decay is distressing to his family and friends. For this reason the Friends of Brendan Lillis group was founded, whose urgent request is to immediately release Brendan to assure his dire need of proper care. The support group raises the issue of humanitarian issues and leading the protest is Brendan's partner, Roisin Allsopp, who has become personally involved in the mobilization starting last Thursday, a hunger strike, along with ex- Blanketmen, ex-POWs and other republicans. For his part, Minister of Justice for Northern Ireland has confirmed that he will not do anything for Brendan's release. "I'm not surprised by the reaction of David Ford, but from a humanitarian point of view I think he should take a stand on this issue," said Roisin commenting on the attitude of the minister. Brendan's case is currently before the Parole Commission, but hopes for a change in attitude of the authorities are few. In any case, Roisin will not give up, and many others like her in these hours are mobilizing for a battle of justice and humanity. The former Independent Republican candidate in the elections of 2007, Davy Hyland, has expressed his concern over the conditions of Brendan and asked for his immediate release. "The British Minister of Justice and David Ford and the British Secretary of State Owen Paterson have adopted an approach of almost" Thatcherism "on prisoners of Maghaberry. David Ford has refused to request the implementation of the agreement signed last August and the British Secretary of State has revoked the licenses of several Republicans such as Marian Price, Martin Corey and Brendan Lillis. "It is ironic that exactly 30 years after the death of 10 Republicans who died in the hunger strike because the British government refused to recognize their fundamental rights, now prisoners of Maghaberry Republicans are in the same situation," he said. Last Saturday, Davy Hyland, and a group of other Republicans in Newry went to Belfast to support Brendan Lillis, his partner Roisin and family. "I invite all those who care about human rights to support the campaign for the immediate release of Brendan. I invite everyone to organize protests, pickets, petitions, and follow the campaign for Brendan on . The families of those who participated all'hunger strike of 1981, including the family of Bobby Sands, have called for the immediate release of Brendan. In this difficult moment we remember the famous words of Bobby: "Every Republican has his own particular part to play, nothing is too big and nothing is too small". Meanwhile, to participate in the hunger strike to demand the release of Brendan seems to be a crime in the Six Counties: In Derry, today police raided the home of some of the people who are supporting Brendan's struggle, destroying their homes and assaulting a pregnant woman.