Statement from the Family & Friends of Republican prisoners, Maghaberry

20 February 2012

On Wednesday 15th February, terminally ill republican prisoner Brian Shivers was brutally assaulted by prison staff while attending Belfast City Hospital.

Brian was informed at lunch time that he had an appointment with his cystic fibrosis consultant and was taken from his cell to attend the appointment. He was forcibly strip searched before leaving Maghaberry and taken to Belfast City Hospital escorted by four screws. The prison van they were travelling in was followed by an RUC/PSNI Jeep with four RUC/PSNI personnel carrying rifles on-board.

When arriving at Belfast City Hospital they were met by other prison staff who had not travelled in the van. Brian was then escorted by eight or nine screws to an office to await his consultant’s arrival. During the wait there were two screws present, one of whom was handcuffed to Brian.

While waiting on his consultant Brian asked the screws present if he could have his consultation in private and he was told abruptly “No, we wont be leaving here” Brian told them that there was not much point in the consultation if he couldn’t speak to his consultant in private and pointed out that there was no windows and up to nine screws guarding him. At that point, one of the screws present elbowed Brian in the face and said: “that’s it you are going back to Maghaberry.” Brian was then trailed to the ground by the same screw with such force that the other screw who was handcuffed to him was brought down as well. He was then viciously assaulted and dragged out of the hospital in full view of members of the public. Brian was in complete agony due to the brutality he received. Throughout the return journey, Brian suffered excruciating pain from a slipped disc which was aggravated by the assault.

When he arrived back at Maghaberry he was met by a Governor who took a note from him of all that had happened during the hospital visit. Brian asked for painkillers and informed him that he wanted to phone his solicitor. Brian was then told that he would be strip searched again. Already bruised and battered and in excruciating pain due to the assault, Brian was forcibly strip searched by six screws. As a consequence, Brian was left in the holding cell unable to move. He repeatedly asked for painkillers which he never received.

Brian was then joined in the holding cell by a fellow republican prisoner, Brendan McConville, who was returning from court. Brendan, alarmed on seeing the state Brian was in, demanded that Brian be returned immediately to the wing. However, his requests were ignored. They both waited for up to an hour and then with Brendan’s assistance Brian was brought back to his cell.

Brian has been left with bruises on his face and body and his previous back injury has been severely aggravated. He has been left bed ridden and relies on assistance to move around. To add insult to injury, Brian has since been charged with assaulting the screw who instigated the attack.

The Family & Friends group refrained from commenting on this brutal attack to allow time for the full facts to emerge and to allow Brian’s legal team to prepare a case against Maghaberry.

We utterly condemn this brutal attack on a terminally ill republican prisoner and call for all those involved to be held accountable. We demand assurances from Maghaberry and David Ford that Brian will be able to attend his many future hospital appointments without fear of a repeat of the brutality inflicted upon him by the thuggish screws employed by Maghaberry.

Mandy Duffy PRO

Family & Friends of Republican Prisoners Maghaberry

http://familiesfriendsassociation.blogspot.com/2012/02/kh…

Just read:

Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan ends 66-day hunger strike as Israel agrees to April release

JERUSALEM Feb 21, 2012 — A Palestinian prisoner has ended his 66-day hunger strike over his detention without charge under a deal that will see him released in April, Palestinian and Israeli officials told AFP on Tuesday.

“The Israeli court decided to release Khader Adnan on April 17 and based on that he ended his hunger strike,” Palestinian prisoner affairs minister Issa Qaraqaa said.

Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the agreement meant “if there’s no new evidence against him, he will be released from custody on April 17.”

Adnan’s lawyer Jawad Bulus also confirmed the deal, details of which were made public just hours before the Israeli Supreme Court was to hear an appeal against the prisoner’s detention without charge.

“There will be no extension of his administrative detention and he will be released on April 17,” Bulus told AFP.

The Israeli justice ministry confirmed that a deal had been signed, thereby ruling out the need for the hearing which had been due to start at 1300 GMT.

Adnan’s wife, Randa Mussa hailed the deal as a “victory” for her husband, whom medics said had lost more than 40% of his body weight over the past nine weeks.

“He forced the occupation to give in to his demands and I hope he returns safe to us,” she told AFP.

Adnan, 33, was detained on December 17 and began refusing food a day later to protest his detention without charge and his alleged mistreatment by interrogators.

His protest, already the longest hunger strike carried out by any Palestinian prisoner, has attracted international attention and thrown a spotlight on Israel’s use of administrative detention, a military procedure which allows suspects to be held without charge.

Israeli officials described Adnan as a “terrorist” from the radical Islamic Jihad movement, although he has never been charged with any offence, nor has any evidence against him been made public.

In January, a military court handed down a four-month administrative detention order against Adnan, which he appealed in an unusual court session earlier this month held at his hospital bed in northern Israel.

But a military court last week rejected his appeal, prompting Bulus to turn to Israel’s top court.

Doctors from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel who met with Adnan in recent days had warned that his health was failing and that he faced “immediate danger of death” if he continued to refuse food.

Rights groups have also condemned the conditions in which Adnan is being held at Ziv hospital in the northern town of Safed, where he is shackled to the bed by chains on both legs and on one arm.

His case has sparked demonstrations across the Palestinian territories, with thousands of people taking part in protests on Tuesday in the West Bank cities of Nablus, Jenin, Hebron and Ramallah. A protest was also scheduled in Gaza City.

In Ramallah, shops shut down as part of a general strike in solidarity with Adnan, and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails were also on hunger strike in support of the detainee.

Palestinian officials had warned that Adnan’s death in custody could spark a violent backlash, and a spokeswoman for the Israel Prisons Service said they were aware of the “implications” of such a development.

On Monday, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said he had sent a message to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and other top diplomats urging them to put pressure on Israel over the case.

“I asked them all to intervene in Adnan’s case. They must apply pressure on Israel to release him,” he told AFP.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/02/21/palestinian-priso…

We vote for Justice and we call Amnesty International not to be selective in its fight for human rights.
We call Amnesty International to talk Justice Minister Ford about the release of Brendan Lillis on medical and humanitarian grounds.

Publish or comment:

Amnesty International USA Non-profit organisation · New York, New York https://www.facebook.com/amnestyusa?ref=ts

Amnesty International Government organisation · Worlds End Creek, South Australia, Australia https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amnesty-International/30320760152?ref=ts

Amnesty International-Ireland Non-governmental organisation (NGO) · Dublin, Ireland https://www.facebook.com/amnestyinternationalireland?ref=ts

Amnesty International Belgique Non-profit organisation · Brussels, Belgium https://www.facebook.com/amnestyBE?ref=ts

Amnesty International https://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2204782184&ref=ts

Amnesty International Interest https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amnesty-International/107376439296877?ref=ts

Amnesty International – Italia https://www.facebook.com/AmnestyInternationalItalia

Amnesty International UK Non-profit organisation https://www.facebook.com/AmnestyUK

Amnesty International Northern Ireland
Non-profit organisation · Belfast, United Kingdom
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amnesty-International-Northern-Ireland/109850892443666?sk=wall

Photo: Justice Minister David Ford of Northern Ireland, participating to the Human Rights campaign ‘I vote for Justice’ of Amnesty International Northern Ireland.

– Friends of Brendan Lillis: https://www.facebook.com/group​s/Friends.Of.Brendan.Lillis/
– Roisin Lynch speaking for the release of her partner Brendan Lillis: http://youtu.be/lrVDu_fnKtE

In a human rights campaign of Amnesty International, Justice Minister Ford of Northern Ireland (Alliance Party) ‘voted for Justice’…
Is this a justice whereby he let die a very sick man as Brendan Lillis in prison because he don’t want that this man dies at home ?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/a​mnestyni/5431047906/in/set-721​57626011181898/


David Ford Alliance Party MLA for South Antrim
www.flickr.com

David Votes for Justice for Victims of Trafficking and Institutional Child Abuse in Northern Ireland and support for victims of injustice abroad. More details on the campaign: www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp​?CategoryID=11993

———–

Brendan Lillis is a republican political prisoner currently being held captive in Maghaberry Gaol for taken …part… in PIRA activity back in the 70’s. The initial robbery charges against Brendan that led to his licence being revoked in 2009 have since been withdrawn. Brendan suffers from a condition known as “Ankylosing Spondylitis” and has been confined to bed for the past two years, and giving only a short time to live, he weighs just under 5 stone.
The commissioners said today that they still consider Brendan as a ‘danger to the public’. The statement comes after weeks of protests and hunger strikes, and after several activists were arrested as a ‘dissident’.
There is no reason what so ever as to why the British State should continue to hold this seriously ill man captive any longer. Please come along and show your support for Brendan and demand his immediate release.

More info:
– Friends of Brendan Lillis
https://www.facebook.com/group​s/Friends.Of.Brendan.Lillis?re​f=ts
– Roisin Lynch speaking for the release of her partner Brendan Lillishttp://youtu.be/lrVDu_fnKtE

Photos: Minister Ford – Brendan Lillis, dying

Date: Thu, 2011-07-21 

Roisin Allsop, partner of political prisoner is to begin a 3 day hunger strike along with supporters tomorrow in West Belfast to highlight his case and demand his release based on humanitarian grounds. A meeting was also held this week in Derry attended by over 200 people to highlight ongoing state repression and brutality on the inside. Protests are also taking place across Ireland and in London.

Below is a press release released on behalf of Brendan Lillis

‘Brendan Lillis is currently a prisoner in Maghaberry Prison where he is serving a sentence for explosive offences in 1976. Brendan suffers from the condition ankylosing spondylitis and has been confined to bed for the best part of the past two years.

Brendan Lillis is no threat to anybody. Brendan Lillis is dying and has been abandoned by an entire political system which is more interested in making statements about his condition than in applying their political power to remedy the situation.

We call for the immediate release of Brendan Lillis to his partner Roisin so that whatever time Brendan has left on this earth be spent with his immediate family.

Brendan Lillis can not walk; he can not get up from his bed. He is incapacitated, and he is being left alone to die in a prison cell. We have seen enough of our people die in prison cells and find the manner in which Brendan is being treated as an obscenity.

A hunger strike in support of Brendan Lillis will commence this Thursday 21st July at the site of the old Andersonstown Barracks, Belfast. Roisin Lynch, partner of Brendan Lillis will be joined by old comrades of Brendan’s from the Blanket protest days and other former prisoners and concerned individuals. The action is designed to highlight Brendan’s case and the lack of any movement in securing his release from the politicians who know Brendan and knew him as a Blanketman.

Time is fast running out for Brendan Lillis and he should be released immediately.

We call on all people concerned with this grave injustice to come along on Thursday, Friday or Saturday and register your support for a sick and dying man being held hostage by a vindictive and punitive regime.’

Brendan Lillis: BBC Radio Foyle discussion including a contribution from Roisin Allsop

Here is the link to listen to this again.

Click on http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b012m7nh

Then go forward to 1:05:05

———————————

http://www.wsm.ie/c/brendan-lillis-partner-solidarity-hunger-strike

Ms Campbell Speech Andytown – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v​=wCt1DyQv0bQ&feature=related

Gerard Hogkins Speech Andytown – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v​=OuRjhWg1hXE&feature=related

Roisin’s Speech Andytown – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v​=lrVDu_fnKtE

Derry Journal 23rd July – http://www.derryjournal.com/ne​ws/local/families_support_lill​is_campaign_1_2893702

Belfast 32 – http://belfast32.blogspot.com/​2011/07/72-hour-fast-for-brend​an-lillis_22.html

Utv Latest from Andytown – http://www.u.tv/utvplayer/vide​o/138104/113062

Republican Socialist News – http://www.irsp.ie/news/?p=344

Belfast Telegraph – http://www.belfasttelegraph.co​.uk/news/local-national/northe​rn-ireland/release-brendan-lil​lis-campaigners-go-on-hunger-s​trike-16026395.html

Eirigi Statement – http://www.eirigi.org/latest/l​atest220711.html

Prisoners Action Group – http://prisoners-action-group.​skynetblogs.be/archive/2011/07​/22/actions-for-dying-brenda-l​illis-are-a-success.html

From Corsica – http://infurmazione.unita-nazi​unale.org/5016/brendan-lillis-​prisonnier-politique-est-en-tr​ain-de-mourir-en-prison/2011/

WorkersSolidarityMovement – http://www.wsm.ie/c/brendan-li​llis-partner-solidarity-hunger​-strike

IrishFreedomCommittee – http://www.irishfreedomcommitt​ee.net/POWs/BRENDAN_LILLIS.htm

HumanRightsGroup – http://humanrightsgroup.wordpr​ess.com/2011/07/19/northern-ir​eland-brendan-lillis-dying-in-​maghaberry-prison/

UTV 21st July – http://www.u.tv/News/Blanketme​n-join-call-for-prisoners-rele​ase/e781f523-690e-4ff6-b080-a4​36525ad8f9

IrishCentral.com New York – http://www.irishcentral.com/ne​ws/Northern-Ireland-man-held-i​n-jail-over-1976-crime-despite​-having-served-his-sentence–V​IDEO-125943423.html

Prisoners Action Group – http://prisoners-action-group.​skynetblogs.be/archive/2011/07​/21/northern-ireland-actions-f​or-brendan-lillis.html

SocialistWorker.org – http://www.www.socialistworker​.org/2011/07/21/let-brendan-li​llis-go-home

The Pensive Quill 20th July – http://thepensivequill.am/2011​/07/on-bridge-of-peace.html

BeforeitsNews.com – http://beforeitsnews.com/story​/767/127/Irish_Prisoner_Facing​_Death.html

U.105 News – http://www.u105.com/LocalNews/​Hunger-strike-over-Maghaberry-​inmate/3dc377af-2cea-42e6-a366​-c907c5fc3a65

Derry Journal 19th July – http://www.derryjournal.com/ne​ws/local/hunger_strike_at_free​_derry_1_2878427

The Irish Observer – http://theirishobserver.blogsp​ot.com/2011/07/brenda-lillis-m​aghaberry-jail-600-days.html

Workers Solidarity Movement – http://www.wsm.ie/c/release-br​endan-lillis-now

Hub Pages iskra1916 – http://iskra1916.hubpages.com/​hub/Brendan-Lillis-Irish-Priso​ner-Being-Allowed-To-Die-in-Ma​ghaberry-Gaol

Human Rights Movement Belgium – http://mensenrechten-droits-de​-lhomme.skynetblogs.be/archive​/2011/07/20/actions-for-brenda​n-lillis-hungerstrike-thursday​-21st-july-2.html

Derry 32 csm – http://www.derry32csm.com/

IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS – http://republican-news.org/cur​rent/news/2011/07/blanketman_o​n_the_threshold.html

Human Rights Group – http://humanrightsgroup.wordpr​ess.com/2011/07/19/northern-ir​eland-brendan-lillis-dying-in-​maghaberry-prison/

Derry Sinn Fein – http://www.derrysinnfein.ie/ne​ws/20196

SDLP – http://www.sdlp.ie/index.php/n​ewsroom_media/newsarticle/east​wood_calls_on_sos_to_help_secu​re_release_of_brendan_lillis/

The Pensive Quill aka Anthony McIntyre – http://thepensivequill.am/2011​/07/brendan-lillis-press-relea​se.html

WordPress – http://prisonsofshame.wordpres​s.com/2011/07/20/brendan-lilli​s-dying-some-words-to-justice-​minister-david-ford/

Troops Out Movement – http://www.troopsoutmovement.c​om/campaigns.htm

Organised Rage Blog – http://www.organizedrage.com/2​011/07/brendan-lillis-press-re​lease.html

UTV – http://www.u.tv/News/Hunger-st​rike-over-Maghaberry-inmate/3d​c377af-2cea-42e6-a366-c907c5fc​3a65

Audio from Pilots Row meeting – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v​=xPlrXlHcyIo&feature=youtu.be

———

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!

Photo: Brendan Lillis, Maghaberry prison, Northern Ireland

Become member of the group Friends of Brendan Lillis:

https://www.facebook.com/group​s/Friends.Of.Brendan.Lillis?re​f=ts

Brussels, July 20th 2011

Dear Mister Ford,

If you would decide to show a little compassion for Brendan Lillis and Roisin Lynch, partner of Brendan, then I would strongly appreciate that, Mr. Ford. Don’t see them as your political ennemies but as human beings, please.

I will write you a final letter today asking you again to release Brendan and I call for Brendan’s release on purely humanitarian grounds so that he might die at home.

Do not wait too long with your decision, Mr. Ford.

I heard that you want to organize now a new meeting ‘to discuss the medical condition’ of Brendan. I don’t think that it would be a good idea. It will be too late for Brendan and it would be just terrible for Roisin. It will also undermine the credibility of the representatives of the DUP, Sinn Féin, the Alliance Party, the Green Party and the Progressive Unionist Party who supported you to become Northern Ireland’s first Justice Minister in 38 years.

Jan Boeykens
Belgium
——————
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!
——————
Links:BBC interview with Brendan Lillis’ partner Roisin Lynch (18.7.2011):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/c​onsole/bbc_radio_foyle#freshSi​gnin=trueor click on http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/c​onsole/b012m7nh
Then go forward to 1:05:05 – 7 days left to listen again

On 14-7-11 Roisin Lynch, partner of Brendan Lillis, spoke at a meeting in Pilot’s Row Derry.
Release Brendan Lillis – YouTube – http://youtu.be/xPlrXlHcyIo

Sign the petition:
www.petitionspot.com/petitions​/releaseBrendylilli

Become member of the group Friends of Brendan Lillis:
https://www.facebook.com/group​s/Friends.Of.Brendan.Lillis?re​f=ts

Photo: Brendan Lillis, dying in Maghaberry prison