Sunday, 17 July 2011

Release Brendan Lillis Now!

Brendan Lillis is a prisoner in Maghaberry jail in the North, he is close to death, weighing only 5.5 stone and having an estimated 10 days to live. His partner has pleaded for support as she watches Brendan slowly die. There is a media blackout and can no longer speak nor move, and is confined to his bed, in a prison cell with no windows.

 Brendan is a former republican prisoner from West Belfast who was released on license in 1992 after serving around 16 years for alleged possession of guns and explosives.  In 2009 the secretary of state revoked his license after appearing on court on a robbery related charge.  This means, Brendan will have to serve out his life sentence for unconnected charges in the 1970s.

 It was reported in the Andersonstown News that he suffers from a  medical condition- debilitating arthritic illness ankylosing spondylitis, which leads to a curvature in the spine and causes the body to produce excess bone mass.

In recent years, many former political prisoners licenses such as Marion Price have been revoked on the word of unelected and unaccountable Secretary of State.  This is an indictment on the entire apparatus of a criminal state and justice system which is designed to criminalise and intimidate all forms of opposition. It is also a sad reflection on the unjust and oppressive prison system which costs lives every year.

Demand the immediate release of Brendan Lillis on humanitarian grounds.

WORDS: Sean Matthews