Release Brendan Lillis Now!

éirígí general secretary Breandán MacCionnaith has called for the immediate release of Brendan Lillis as the Belfast man’s partner today [Thursday] began a hunger strike in protest against his continued incarceration.

Lillis, who previously served 16 years as a political prisoner, has been held in Maghaberry jail since 2009 when the British secretary of state revoked his release license after he appeared in court on unrelated charges.  Despite the fact that these charges have not been proceeded with and that Lillis is seriously ill, he has not been given a release date.

Lillis is suffering from the debilitating arthritic illness ankylosing spondylitis which, his partner – Roisin Lynch – says, has left him with possibly only weeks to live.

Lynch today began a hunger strike in protest at Lillis’ continued imprisonment at the Andersonstown barracks site in west Belfast.

MacCionnaith said: “The continued imprisonment of Brendan Lillis, a seriously ill man who may have only weeks left to live, is callous in the extreme.

“Brendan has consistently been denied adequate medical attention by the prison authorities in Maghaberry, while the distress for both him and his family has been heightened by the conditions he is forced to endure.

“The initial charge against Brendan was not proceeded with due to his illness.  It is ridiculous therefore that he is held in prison because of a political offence he was charged with in the 1970s – an alleged offence for which he already served a long, long time.”

MacCionnaith added: “The plight of Brendan Lillis raises the wider issue of the British secretary of state’s ability to incarcerate republican ex-prisoners who have been released on license.  At present, Belfast woman Marian Price and Lurgan man Martin Corey are also being held in Maghaberry on the whim of Owen Paterson.

“This situation is intolerable and an effective opposition must be built against it.”

MacCionnaith concluded: “At this difficult time, éirígí extends its solidarity to Brendan, to his courageous partner Roisin and to all his family.

“Brendan Lillis must not be allowed to die in jail.  The British government and David Ford must take the only humane course of action and release him immediately.”

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Posted on July 22, 2011, in éirígí, Repression and resistance in the six counties today. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Release Brendan Lillis Now!.

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