Release All Political Prisoners Today ! END BRITISH INTERNMENT IN IRELAND
#Jftc2 #EndBritishInternment #FreeNiallLehd
With many thanks to: Richard Steele for the original posting.
Derry republican Tony Taylor, released as his internment by the British approached a significant one thousand days, was released this evening after a day of tense last-minute negotiations around the details of his release.
Restrictions placed on the lifelong republican political activist include a broad media censorship, as well as a threat of re-imprisonment if the British government believe he has breached his release ‘licence’, the details of which have not been released.
Speaking in a video clip uploaded to social media from their family home in Derry, Mr Taylor’s wife Lorraine, said: “I’m delighted to have Tony home. Thank God my nightmare is finally over. I’d just like to thank the people in Derry for their faith, for all their campaigning for Tony and for all their support through the two and a half years.
“It’s been a long process but I’m glad now they’ve made the decision to let him home. An early Christmas present for us all.”
Speaking off camera, Mr Taylor said he was delighted to be reunited with his family.
“Due to strict conditions on myself I have to be very careful what I say, I can’t really talk about my internment or anything around that at all,” he said.
“It’s great to be home again. It’s great to be here with my mother and father, I’m delighted to be back with them and I know that they’ve missed me a lot. They are up in age, I’ve always been there for them and I want to continue to do that.
“Between them and my own family, I’m sure I’ll be kept right and busy, my mother’s already got jobs for me and I’m only out a couple of hours. We’re all back together again and that’s the main thing.”
With many thanks to the: Irish Republican News for the original story.
Tens of protesters against undemocratic state repression through internment and special courts gathered at the Wolfe Tone Monument in Dublin’s Stephen Green yesterday before proceeding through the park to the Irish state’s Department of Justice building at 94 Stephen’s Green. The sun shone weekly through clouds at times on bare branches of deciduous trees and their remaining autumn leaves, also on the dark foliage of holly tree and invasive bay cherry.
The Wolfe Tone Monument stands in the approximate location of the Irish Citizen Army’s trenches in 1916, fired on by British soldiers with machine guns who had occupied the Shelbourne Hotel opposite, killing one of the Volunteers below. The statue had been blown up by British Loyalists in the 1970s and some of the surviving remnant had been added to in order to rebuild the statue (a fact generally not known or conveniently forgotten).
As is invariably the experience of Irish Republicans, they were under surveillance by some Gardaí in plain clothes and also from a marked police car. Some of the participants were also harassed by them and required to supply their names and addresses.
The event, jointly organised by two fairly recent organisations on the Irish Republican scene, the Abolish the Special Courts campaign and the Irish Socialist Republicans organisation, was supported mostly by Irish Republicans, some independents and some belonging to a number of Irish Republican organisations other than the organisers: activists from the Irish Republican Prisoner and Welfare Association, Saoradh and the Dublin Anti-Internment Committee were also in attendance.
With their banners and placards the protesters stood on the median strip in the road opposite the Department of Justice, passing pedestrians and drivers slowing down to read the texts displayed, some drivers tooting their horns in support. Some, apparently visitors, took photos or video footage.
Later, supporters of the protest crossed the road to the pavement outside the Green to hear speakers. Ger Devereux of the Abolish the Special Courts thanked people for attending and introduced Brian Kenna from Saoradh to speak.
“NOT CONVICTED FOR ANY CRIME BUT FOR BEING …. IRISH REPUBLICANS”
Kenna gave a detailed and comprehensive account of how the Offences Against the State Act has facilitated the imprisoning of Irish Republicans not for any crime they have committed but for being just who they are – Irish Republicans. Observing that half those Republicans in jail in the Irish state are serving time on conviction of allegedly “being a member of an illegal organisation”, the speaker emphasised that the only ‘evidence’ necessary for the Department of Public Prosecutions to secure such a conviction under the Offences Against the State Act is the word of a Garda at the rank of Superintendent or above, along with some vague additional ‘evidence’ that could mean lots of different things.
Brian Kenna warned that not only scheduled offences1 can be tried in the Special Criminal Courts as now but should the DPP wish it, also other minor offences such as allegedly criminal damage or against public order and he believed that except for the presence of a few factors, including the presence of an MP among the accused, the Jobstown water-protesters would have been tried in the Special Courts, where convictions are the almost automatic result. Kenna called on all people to stand up against these undemocratic laws.
Devereaux then introduced Mandy Duffy, national Chairperson of the Irish Republican Prisoner Welfare Association.
“HUMILIATION, VIOLENCE AND ISOLATION”
Mandy Duffy spoke about the conditions under which Irish Republicans are being held in a number of prisons in Ireland on both sides of the Border. In Maghaberry in particular, which Duffy said was much more modern than Portlaoise (in the Irish state), Republican prisoners are guarded by a prison staff recruited from among Loyalists2, who hate Irish Republicans and are determined not only to keep them in jail but to make them suffer while they are there.
Duffy focused on the practice of continually strip-searching prisoners every time they are taken from the prison or returned as one of humiliation and of violence when the attendant instructions are not complied with.3 The speaker also referred to unreasonable and additional punishments such as keeping prisoners in isolation.
Mandy Duffy concluded by calling for solidarity with political prisoners and in thanking those present for giving her their attention.
Devereux then called on Diarmuid Breatnach to speak on behalf of the Dublin Anti-Internment Committee.
“WE STAND TOGETHER OR WE GO TO JAIL SEPARATELY”
Diarmuid Breatnach began in Irish by thanking the organisers for the invitation to speak which he then repeated in English. Breatnach said that their Committee holds pickets around Dublin mostly on a monthly basis and did so in order to raise awareness on the ground that internment without trial continues in Ireland long after it was allegedly terminated by the British in the mid-1970s. He also reminded the protesters that people had resisted internment and protested it in Ireland and in many places around the world, including in Britain. In the Six Counties the Ballymurphy Massacre had been inflicted on people protesting internment in 1971 and again in 1972, the Bloody Sunday Massacre in Derry.
Stating that internment is essentially jailing people without a trial, Diarmuid Breatnach stated that returning a former Republican prisoner who is at liberty under licence to jail without any trial, as has happened for example to Tony Taylor, is effectively internment, albeit of a different kind. Refusing a Republican bail for no good reason when on a charge awaiting trial, which might take up to two years, is also internment of a different kind, the speaker said, stating that the only justifiable reasons for opposing bail are supposed to be a likelihood of the offence being repeated or the charged person absconding, for both of which credible evidence should be produced. Breatnach also drew attention to the recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights which castigated Turkey for their two years of preventive detention (or refusal of bail) of a Kurdish Member of the Turkish Parliament while awaiting trial, on the principle that the period of detention was unreasonably long and was being done deliberately for political reasons.
The speaker also referred to the unreasonable bail conditions when bail was granted, which included non-attendance at political demonstrations, pickets and meetings which, he said, made it clear what the whole intention of the repression was about.
Breatnach reiterated what an earlier speaker had said about the potential of these forms of repression being used against a wider section of opposition to the State and referred to recent arrests of Republicans who had allegedly mobilised against the launch of the fascist group Pegida in 2012. The speaker urged unity across the board against State repression because they either stood together now or later would “go to jail separately”.
Devereaux thanked the participants and encouraged them to keep in touch with the Abolish the Special Courts campaign and the street meeting broke up into informal groups as people began to collect placards, banners, getting ready to disperse.
(Photo source: All apart from Wolfe Tone Monument from Abolish the Special Courts FB page)
With many thanks to: End Internment and Abolish the Special Courts Facebook page for the photo’s and the original posting.
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Tony Taylor was released from prison in 2014 after having served three years in custody, with four further years on Licence. Tony, as a member of the Republican Network for Unity, contributed to local politics in Derry by peacefully raising benefit cuts, prison conditions and policing issues. Tony complied with the terms of his licence, including reporting his activities to the NI Probation Board.
Tony was detained by police in Derry on October 17, 2015 and interviewed over two days at Musgrave Street Station about alleged republican activity based on MI5 “Intelligence”. He was unconditionally released pending a report to the PPS.
On 10th March 2016 Tony, while out shopping with his wife and children, was taken by the PSNI and returned to Prison. The Northern Ireland Office said his licence was revoked by the Parole Commission because of the risk he posed to the public. Tony’s solicitor, Aiden Carlin, has confirmed that this “risk to the public” was based on an MI5 assessment, and the same “Republican Activity” for which Tony was questioned and unconditionally released in October 2015.
Three weeks after Tony was returned to prison the Secretary of State admitted that her original order revoking his licence had been illegal. The recommendation to return Tony to prison had been made without even contacting the Probation Board. Tony remained in prison.
In July the P.P.S. concluded its examination of the file on his arrest and questioning in October 2015, and directed that Tony would not face prosecution.
Tony Taylor remains in prison for the same reasons of a “risk to the public” for which he has been:
Detained and questioned for two days in October 2015
Unconditionally released by the PSNI
Told by the P.P.S there will be no prosecution.
FREE TONY TAYLOR
With many thanks to: Irish POWs Truth and Justice Conquers All for the original posting.
Nialls family have been robbed of a loving father and partner at the behest of the unaccountable faceless mi5 by their pup Secretary of state.
Never stop highlighting Internment! Never relent and Never give in.
We demand that our friend and comrade be released immediately.
Stand up and speak out as it could land to any one of our doors.
We will not be silenced!!!
Today its Niall. Tomorrow it could be you.
Free Niall Lehd Now.
End Internment In Occupied Ireland.
With many thanks to: Free Niall Lehd Now for the origional posting.
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