Brendan Lillis is dying: Call for help of Amnesty International

July 15, 2011

Some months ago, Nadezhda Banchik, member of Amnesty International USA, called for the release of Commander Arbi Zarmaev, a political prisoner who was very sick and was isolated, tortured and treated with neuroleptics in Bruges prison (Belgium).

Can she do the same for Brendan Lillis who is dying in the Maghaberry prison of Northern Ireland ?

Brendan Lillis, a 59 year old former Life-sentence political prisoner from West Belfast, in Ireland, is currently desperately ill in the medical wing of the notorious Maghaberry prison, in County Antrim. He suffers from the intensely painful and progressive disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis which due to other medical complications has left himunable to move from his bed for 14 months and his weight has dropped to a perilous 6 stones (38.1 Kilos !). Due to a series of serious infections and medication which has compromised his immune system, Mr Lillis has been unable to eat, sleep or hold down even liquids for a period close to a month and is constant agony. In short, his health has deteriorated to such an extent that his partner Roisin, who is his only contact with the outside world, fears that he will die in his prison bed! The doctor said her that he will live only 10 days now.


Arbi Zarmaev: Letter of Mrs Nadezhda Banchik to Minister Stefaan De Clerck

San Jose, April 20, 2011

Being a member of Amnesty International USA, and in addition, being myself an emigrant from the former Soviet Union, I am completely devastated hearing about the plight of Mr. Arbi Zarmaev, a Chechen, an asylum seeker from Chechnya. I was entirely desperate learning that Mr. Zarmaev was arrested in Belgium and subjected to beating and torture via forcible deprivation of food and drinking water, shackling, and sleep deprivation.

Information about torturing of any prisoner in Belgium, the EU member country, renown for its adherence to human rights and law obedience, make me think that our entire world is moving towards a new Holocaust, since the Holocaust was made possible when Western world completely rejected any protection for a human life at all and for a certain ethnic group in particular. That time such a group were Jews. This time, it seems to me, the Chechens are made an ethnic group for trade-off deals with criminal Russian regime.

I am afraid not only for a Chechen young man who is “guilty” only of defending his homeland from marauders, murders and robbers known to the whole world as Russian mafia state. It seems that Belgium authorities secretly decided to make Arbi Zarmaev slowly dying behind grates just for secret deal with Russian criminals! I am also afraid of your country’s reputation as reliable and law-obedient, human-rights protected country belonging to the Western civilization, that just recently was considered moral leader of the whole world. No more humane place in this world? No more Geneva Convention for a tiny group that was unlucky to be designed international scapegoat in the epoch of international “anti-terrorism” war?! But who is a bigger terrorist in this case? A Chechen who was forced to take arms to defend his home or the second army in the world that bombed out his homeland to rubbles?! Do you know that Russia killed more than 250,000 Chechens, including 40,000 children? And how many people did Arbi Zarmaev really killed? Ask him, please.

I urge you Mr. Minister, to do everything you can to stop this embarrassing case for your country. I hope you can urge your subordinates to free Arbi Zarmaev because he is not a criminal. In the worst, he could be considered prisoner of the war. However, in this case he is eligible for Geneva Convention protection. Anyway, he is eligible for Geneva Convention protection as an asylum seeker from the armed conflict zone.

Sincerely and hopeful

Nadezhda Banchik, Amnesty International USA member​-Amnesty_International_USA_dem​ande_la_liberation_du_Commanda​nt_Zarmaev___en.htm


One Response to “Brendan Lillis is dying: Call for help of Amnesty International”

  1. kruitvat Says:

    Here is a link for the August 7th protest the Irish Freedom Committee is holding in Los Angeles, California. They mention Brendan Lillis and Marian Price.​laamn/message/23199http://grou​​ge/23199

    The action will be too late for Brendan Lillis who risk to die in one of the coming days.

    Some weeks ago, the Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland said that she ‘cannot be helpful in the case’.
    Justice Minister David Ford didn’t reply…


    August 7 protest at the British Consulate

    While the media and Hollywood are fawning over the new invasion of America by the useless, tax-swilling, parasitic British royals, the rest of the world would like to remind the British Empire that there are still urgent issues that are
    preventing the UK from being a decent citizen of the world community, to thisvery day. For example, the continuing occupation of the northern part of the nation of Ireland, and the continuing brutal treatment of political prisoners in
    the prisons of Northern Ireland.

    “What? But there’s a peace process! Clinton solved everything, there’s no more war in Northern Ireland!” Sorry to tell everyone, there may not be so many casualties these days, but there is definitely still police-state repression,
    especially of those who do not agree with Northern Ireland being surrendered to be a permanent part of the UK. Activists who were freed as part of the “peace process” are now being re-arrested for their political views. In the Maghaberry
    Jail near Belfast, prisoners are subjected to brutal treatment which should be familiar to US-based prison-reform activists: brutal and dehumanizing strip searches, denial of medical treatment, filthy conditions, confinement in cells for 23.5 hours a day, sleep deprivation, denial of visits and isolation.

    Brendan Lillis (age 59) is a Maghaberry prisoner with a serious spinal condition whose life is in imminent danger. An original “on the blanket” prison protester, he was freed in the 90’s as part of the “peace process,” then rearrested 15 years later to serve his 1972 sentence. He cannot walk or stand up, and he has been deemed unfit to stand trial and all charges have been dropped, yet he is still confined and being denied treatment for his condition. He has lost over half his body weight and now weighs 82 pounds, and he is being held in isolation. He is being literally tortured to death by the British Empire!

    Marian Price, Irish nationalist and advocate for prisoners and their families, was herself arrested in May (technically due to a 1973 charge) and is now the only woman in Maghaberry Jail.

    There is nothing “civilized” or “glamorous” about the British Empire, or its representatives or rulers!!!

    PROTEST at the UK consulate on Sunday, August 7, 2011, 1-3 pm, 11766 Wilshire
    Blvd., Los Angeles CA.
    Information: The Irish Freedom Committee,
    membership@… . Website:

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