People working for the State, come always with the same nonsense: ‘He is a danger for the public’. OK, some persons are a danger for the public. But how can a man as Brendan Lillis who was locked up during 20 years in one of the most inhuman prisons of the world, who is very sick and can not longer eat, who lies now during 450 days in bed and who risks to die one of the coming days, still be a ‘danger for the public’ ?

Photo: members of government

Rt Hon Baroness Warsi


Dear Madam,

Concers: Gerard McManus, prisoner in the Maghaberry prison of Northern Ireland

I am working during several years with princess Jacqueline de Croÿ, member of the direction board of our association, about human rights in prisons and hospitals and I want to protest against the human rights violations in the Maghaberry prison  in Northern Ireland where people are isolated and tortured.

In three months time, there were 3 deaths in this prison.

The family of prisoner Gerard McManus had a scheduled visit which was to take place at 2.45pm on Wednesday 23rd June.

Following a prolonged period of waiting and with other visits scheduled for the same time already taking place, Gerards elderly father asking as to his son’s non appearance, was promptly told to sit down, then informed that Gerard would be there shortly.
The family remained seated as other visits ended and at 4pm Gerard was eventually brought to the visiting area.
At approximately 4.35pm, a Maghaberry screw, who appeared to be intoxicated ended the visit.
Gerard’s father remonstrated with him, stating that they had driven some 2 and a half hours to get there, been held in the visiting area for another 1 and a quarter hours and his scheduled visit was being cut short without reason.
The screw became verbally abusive to both the prisoner and his family and stated that he wished there were still soldiers like the ‘Shankill butchers’ to take care of people like them.
The riot squad was then called to remove the family from the visiting area and the prisoner back to his cell.
At this stage the guard who seemed drunken, was called away by his colleagues.
Gerard’s elderly father requested to see the Governor to register an official complaint about the sectarian abuse received and the fact that visits were being overseen by drunken sectarian guards.

A woman who claimed to be an Assistant Governor came down to meet him and immediately informed him that she was not interested in hearing his complaints and that they were to leave the gaol immediately.

I am waiting your answer.

Kindly regards,

Jan Boeykens, Faiderstraat 10, 1060 Brussels, Belgium
President Morkhoven Group

Motion relating to Maghaberry prisoners successfully passed in Newry & Mourne Council

I’m just back from the Newry & Mourne Council monthly meeting. I raised the prisoners plight highlighting the fact that the previous Council had agreed to send a delegation to investigate the prisoners concerns but postponed it when the August 12th agreement 2010 was passed. I proposed a motion that, in the light of the continued strip searching of prisoners it is vital that a Council delegation visit the prisoners as a matter of urgency. The motion was passed without objection.

Cllr. Davy Hyland!/home.php?sk=group_132734503459781&id=158899877509910&notif_t=like

It is very clear now that the UK authorities will win time to murder Brendan with a so called natural death. It is a pure political isue for them. They see Brendan as an Irish political activist and former ennemy, not as a human being. It is a pure form of political revenge.

It is therefore that:

– they will not liberate him immediately to save his life;
– they are talking about a ‘psychologist’ while the medical report of Brendan says clearly that he is fysically very sick and that his weight has come to a very critical point now;
– they violate their own rules (the Northern Ireland Prison Service Corporate and Business Plan 2008/11, which states that prisoners’ access to health services must be appropriate to their needs and equivalent to those services available to the public);
– they violate the european and international rules on sick prisoners and torturous and degrading treatments;
– they will win time and suggest a meeting in July (after Brendan’s death);
– they do no allow that legal non government organizations and other ‘dangerous’ witnesses attend the meeting (if Brendan is still alive);
– they hope Brendan will die shortly after this meeting or possible release;
– they do not allow that an independant physician, a member of the european parliament or an independant observer of an international institution visit Brendan.

I also think that the British government is afraid of an European and international condemnation of their prison and human rights policies because there too many deads in UK prisons. But the members of the British government refuse to undertake structural measures and to solve the problems. Instead, they prefer human rights violations and new deaths in prisons to ‘improve’ their political image in the world.

Jan Boeykens, Werkgroep Morkhoven

The meeting in July in the case Brendan Lillis, is unacceptable. You can not let die someone in prison and organize a meeting after his death. This is a declaration of war by the British Government to anyone who works for Human Rights and for the Rights of political prisoners.

Picture: Friends of Brendan Lillis – An Irishman dying in the British Maghaberry prison:!/home.php?sk=group_132734503459781&id=159170760816155&notif_t=like


Latest News about Brendan Lillis.

Brendan remains in the prison hospital at Maghaberry Gaol where he suffers from a chronic medial condition called ankylosing spondylitis, which cause his spine to fuse. At present, he is confined to bed and his condition has taken a turn for the worst. Brendan is 84 pound at the min and his rapidly deteriorating health is causing huge concern to his family and friends.  His morphine has been increased to 15mg after a nurse hurt him trying to move him in the bed. They have said the end of july to facilitate the psychologist coming over from England.  And we have been told they still havnt found anywhere to house this meeting yet.  If he stays in these conditions, Brendan will die in prison.

What they are doing to Brendan is against their own written policy. In keeping with the Northern Ireland Prison Service Corporate and Business Plan 2008/11, it is stated that prisoners’ access to health services must be appropriate to their needs and equivalent to those services available to the public.  This is off the NI Prison Administration website. They are not honoring their rules.

The minister of justice  is aware of the situation but he thinks there is no urgent need. If Brendan dies, he will be held personally responsible.

The high security Maghaberry prison in Co Antrim has been ranked as one of the worst performing in the UK.

Friends of Brendan Lillis

Not long back from Maghaberry, god it’s a grim place. I cant even begin to imagine what the prisoners in there have to go through. Brutalised and beaten daily, forced strip searches, forced to pour their urine and bodily wastes through their cell doors, deprived of natural light and fresh air. Today they were given a much need morale boost. 500 people marched from the visitor car park to the main prison gates. People carried flags, banners and placards in support of the POWs. Whistles, air horns and fireworks were let off to make as much noise as possible so the POWs could hear us. We then went silent as we heard the POWs responding by banging their cell doors, walls and chanting. Pol Mac Adaim sang a few songs for the POWs. Local independent republican Cllr Davy Hyland was the main speaker and spoke very well, drawing comparisons to todays situation and the situation 30 years ago. We then marched down the side of Roe House chanting, banging, whistling etc. On the other side of the fence were the loyalist screws in riot gear with guard dogs, the same bigots who are torturing our POWs. We then made our way back to the car park and a cavalcade of over 60 cars drove up to the main gates sounding their horns. After the protest we were met with a massive “security operation” just a few hundred yards down the road from Maghaberry. Dozens of heavily armed members of the RUC/PSNI and numerous armoured land rovers stopped and searched cars and mini buses that were leaving the protest. All in all it was a great event that generated some much needed publicity and awareness to the plight endured by our POWs while at the same time giving the POWs a much needed boost. This is only the start! VICTORY TO THE POWs


Thirty-eight Republican Prisoners currently imprisoned in Maghaberry Gaol. “Controlled movement” is imposed on Republican landings with only three prisoners permitted out of their cells on the landing at any one time with each prisoner accompanied by two prison officers. Free Association on landings completely removed. Legislation introduced by British government following the Good Friday Agreement removed the right of Republican prisoners to organise themselves on their own landings and removed the right of Republican prisoners to spend their time in prison constructively. Prisoners made to chose between daily exercise or education. Prisoners denied educational facilities to enable them to organise their own education. Easter lilies banned in the prison. Other Republican handicrafts confiscated and destroyed by prison officers. PSNI/RUC approval required before prisoners permitted on Republican landing. Republican prisoners’ parole entitlement has been reduced to half that of other prisoners. Denial of compassionate paroles for family and religious occasions. Parole for funerals of immediate family members often restricted to 6 hours or less. Constant use of strip searching to humiliate prisoners contrary to international law. One prisoner received 31 strip searches and 1,135 rub down searches in a six month period. Prisoners locked in their cells for alternately 21/23 hours per day. Abuse of the sniffer dogs in an attempt to criminalise political prisoners. Families and prisoners are wrongly accused of smuggling drugs into the prison. Familes are forced to have closed family visits which take place through Perspex screen while prisoners returning from parole are placed in solitary confinement for 48 hours. Family visitors exposed to Loyalist visitors while visiting prison. Prisoners exposed to Loyalists going to and from legal visits. The power of the Governor to punish a prisoner by taking away remission was reintroduced specifically for Republican prisoners after it was banned by the European Court of Human Rights in 2002. Access to a doctor available only once a week. Interference with correspondence. Irish language and cultural items including handicrafts made relating to hunger strikes confiscated or destroyed by prison officers.

Friends of Brendan Lillis: