Human rights violations in Northern Ireland: Brendan Lillis

Brussels, 30.6.2011

Pauline McCabe, Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland

Dear Madam,

Concerns: the deaths in Maghaberry prison, Brendan Lillis actually dying in the Maghaberry prison

Thanks for your reply.

It is very strange that, while you are pretending to investigate the complaints from prisoners and the deaths in prison custody (from 1 September 2005 the remit of the Prisoner Ombudsman was even extended as required by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland), you ‘can not comment and can not be helpful’ in the case of Brendan Lillis who is very sick and is dying now in the Maghaberry prison of Northern Ireland where there were 3 deaths during the past 3 months.

You say that these matters are for Minister for Justice Ford and the prison authorities.

Many people wrote to Minister Ford and the prison authorities but they didn’t receive an answer.

Have they to wait until they can go to the funeral of Brendan ?

Don’t forget that you are an prisoner ombudsman. So, it is your work to DO something for prisoners.

Remember also that if you do not help a sick prisoner who risks to die, you can be prosecuted as this prisoner dies.

Yours sincerely,

Jan Boeykens
President of Werkgroep Morkhoven
Belgium

Friends of Brendan Lillis
https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_182248348494841#!/home.php?sk
=group_132734503459781

Photo: Pauline McCabe and her team

18 thoughts on “Human rights violations in Northern Ireland: Brendan Lillis

  1. kruitvat Post author

    Today:

    THE JAIL DOCTOR INFORMED BRENDAN TODAY THAT HE HAS BEEN INUNDATED WITH PHONE CALLS AND LETTERS ABOUT BRENDAN, ALSO BL RECEIVED OVER 40 GET WELL AND SUPPORT LETTERS.. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK THE TIME TO WRITE AND PHONE,AS YOU ALL NO BRENDAN IS VERY WEAK AND THE SUPPORT HAS HEARTENED HIM .

    Reply
  2. kruitvat Post author

    Today:

    HE IS VERY WEAK, HIS HANDS ARE WHITE. THE DOCTOR SAID THE BLOOD SUPPLY IS NOT GETTING TO THEM, THEY HAVE GAVE HIM 2 BALLS TO HOLD IN HIS HANDS TO SQUEEZE BUT HE JUST HASNT THE ENERGY TO DO IT, HE HAS LOST MORE WEIGHT AND WE CANT GET HIM WEIGHED BECAUSE HE IS IN TO MUCH PAIN TO GET LIFTED IN A HOIST. 1 MEMBER OF STAFF A NURSE HAS BEEN RUBBING HIS HANDS WITH OIL, SHE HAS TOLD ME A FEW TIMES SHE HAS BAD DREAMS ABOUT BL SHE FEELS SO BAD FOR HIM.

    Reply
  3. kruitvat Post author

    This online publication appears to be untrue. One of the specialists they state Maghaberry has a clinic for is not present. We already know BL’s hearing due to his request for release is being delayed because the prison must wait for the specialist to come to the prison.

    HEALTHCARE

    “HM Prison Maghaberry are committed to providing the highest standards of healthcare to prisoners in their care in partnership with the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust. Healthcare for prisoners at HM Prison Maghaberry is provided by an experienced team of dedicated staff who provide a healthcare service for prisoners 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    “The healthcare team is committed to the task of bringing the values and methods of community based healthcare to the secure setting with a professionalism and commitment that lays the foundations for improved services and care.

    “The healthcare team is made up of qualified nurses, healthcare officers and health care assistants who all partake in continuous professional development.

    “The Inpatient Unit within the Healthcare Centre at HM Prison Maghaberry will shortly undergo a period of major refurbishment and modernisation. Clinics and consultations for prisoners are held daily by healthcare staff in each of the accommodation blocks, the committal unit and also within the healthcare centre.”

    Specialist Clinics

    * Audiologist
    * Dentist
    * Diabetes
    * Doctors
    * Mental Health Support
    * Nurse triage
    * Optician
    * Pharmacist
    * Physiotherapist
    * Podiatrist
    * Psychiatrist
    * Radiographer
    * Smoking Cessation
    * Vaccinations

    Reply
  4. kruitvat Post author

    This is worth writing a letter to immediately about Brendan Lillis, and the deliberate medical neglect of Maghaberry Prison and Minister Ford: http://amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=770&utm_source=social&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=IAR&utm_content=UAN_facebook

    AIUK : Urgent action network
    amnesty.org.uk
    Every day Amnesty International receives information about prisoners and other individuals in danger around the world. The urgent action network provides for the swift worldwide mobilisation of people ready to take rapid action at short notice when somebody is in immediate danger.

    Reply
  5. kruitvat Post author

    Everytime that someone dies in a prison of Northern Ireland, we can publish again the answer of Pauline McCabe, the so called ‘Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland’ who ‘investigates complaints but can not help’.

    Reply
  6. kruitvat Post author

    An article about a blunder of the high-security department in Maghaberry Prison. Silence about Brendan Lillis, the deaths, the inhuman conditions and he violations of human rights in this prison…

    28 June 2011
    Maghaberry staff ‘must explain blunder’
    http://www.u.tv/News/Maghaberry-staff-must-explain-blunder/0b4bd0ef-0c8b-4cf9-99ce-e43344d1ab60

    A call has been made for senior staff at Maghaberry Prison to be held to account after a fourth prisoner in nine months walked free from the high-security facility early…

    Reply
  7. kruitvat Post author

    Silence about the human rights violations in the prisons of Northern Ireland….
    —–

    Hundreds of prison jobs set to go

    28 June 2011

    Several hundred Prison Service staff in Northern Ireland will lose their jobs next year under a fundamental overhaul, it has been revealed.
    The service has been asked to save millions of pounds as part of wider public spending cuts. The move follows a string of critical reports about prisoner safety and industrial relations strife which has demoralised staff.

    Director general of the Prison Service Colin McConnell said there would be a staff exit scheme in place by September.

    “There is a strong economic driver for this, we are no longer in a position to afford to remain in our current shape and size, within the context of our budget allocation over the next four years,” he said.

    “The Northern Ireland Prison Service (NIPS) simply cannot afford to stay the way it is.”

    He added: “Allowing staff to leave NIPS will enable us to move forward with our objectives and priorities.”

    He said the number departing would be “several hundred”.

    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/hundreds-of-prison-jobs-set-to-go-16017053.html

    Reply
  8. kruitvat Post author

    Petition:

    Release Brendan Lillis Now!

    February 8, 2011

    Brendan Lillis (59) is a former Political Prisoner who served a lengthy sentence behind bars for Republican activities. He was released from Long Kesh in 1994 and returned to his West Belfast home.

    In October, 2009, Brendy was again arrested in connection with an attempted robbery in County Derry. Within hours of his arrest, the British Secretary of State revoked his Life Sentence licence and he was returned to gaol.

    Last month, the High Court in Belfast decided that Brendy should not stand trial and all charges were dropped against him. Despite the ruling, he remains in the prison hospital at Maghaberry Gaol. He suffers from a chronic medial condition called, ankylosing spondylitis which cause the spine to fuse.

    At present, he is confined to bed and his condition has taken a turn for the worst. His weight has also plummeted to six stone and his state is causing huge concern to his friends and family.

    The Friends of Brendan Lillis is a support group. Our primary aim is to have Brendy immediately released to ensure he recieves the proper medical attention he deserves. His continued imprisonment is wrong and we call for his release on humanitarian grounds.

    By Friends.Of.Brendan.Lillisgroups.facebook.com

    http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/releaseBrendylilli

    Reply
  9. kruitvat Post author

    Someone received just the same letter from the Ombudsman. It seems a standard letter:

    Thank you for your email of 1 June 2011. We are, as you would expect, monitoring the situation in Roe House. We have been advised that some of the prisoners in Roe intend to formally complain to this office about some of the issues detailed in your email and we will be happy to investigate their complaints in due course.

    You have also referred to Brendan Lillis in your email. While we are aware of Mr Lillis’ situation, the Prisoner Ombudsman’s remit extends to the investigation of complaints from prisoners and the investigation of deaths in prison custody.

    We are not in a position, therefore, to comment on his continued detention. These matters are for the Minister for Justice and prison authorities.

    I am sorry we cannot be more helpful.
    I hope this is helpful.

    Yours sincerely,

    PA/Prisoner Ombudsman
    22nd Floor, Windsor House
    Bedford Street
    Belfast BT2 7FT
    Tel: 02890443982

    Reply
  10. kruitvat Post author

    Where is the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission ?

    The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission works vigorously and independently to ensure that the human rights of everyone in Northern Ireland are fully and firmly protected in law, policy and practice. To that end the Commission measures law, policy and practice in Northern Ireland against internationally accepted rules and principles for the protection of human rights and ensures that they are promoted, adopted and applied throughout Northern Ireland. We welcome your feedback and hope that this resource is of interest. http://www.nihrc.org/

    Reply
  11. kruitvat Post author

    The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission:

    The Commission’s role is to promote awareness of the importance of human rights in Northern Ireland, to review existing law and practice and to advise the UK government on what steps need to be taken to fully protect human rights in Northern Ireland.

    It is specifically charged with drafting a Bill of Rights to supplement the European Convention on Human Rights (which is part of the law in Northern Ireland as a result of the introduction in October 2000 of the UK Human Rights Act 1998).

    In addition, the Commission has the power to conduct investigations, to assist individuals when they are bringing court proceedings, and to bring court proceedings itself.

    The Commission welcomes enquiries from people who believe that their human rights have been violated or who have suggestions as to how law and practice in Northern Ireland could be improved as far as the protection of human rights is concerned.

    http://www.nihrc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8&Itemid=13

    Reply
  12. kruitvat Post author

    Human rights organisations in Northern Ireland…

    CAJ (Committee on the Administration of Justice) is an independent human rights organisation with cross community membership in Northern Ireland and beyond. It was established in 1981 and lobbies and campaigns on a broad range of human rights issues. CAJ seeks to secure the highest standards in the administration of justice in Northern Ireland by ensuring that the Government complies with its obligations in international human rights law.
    http://www.caj.org.uk/

    Reply
  13. kruitvat Post author

    The Prisoner Ombudsman: ‘I can not be helpful’ – The Irish Human Rights Committee: ‘There is nothing what I can do’.
    They are paid for doing nothing…;)

    Reply
  14. kruitvat Post author

    In Belgium we have also a human rights organization that is so called ‘independant’. They are paid by the government and they are afraid to lose their grants. And as we working about human rights, our mails are also regularly blocked by the authorities.
    It is for this reason that they constantly repeat that we live in a democratic system.

    Reply
  15. Pingback: Open Letter to Pauline McCabe, Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland (3) « prisons of shame

  16. Pascal Stil

    Great attempt to get through to the ombudsman. Maybe someone should also make her aware that Brendan is in his current state too weak to make a complaint to her and that everybody who writes to her does it on his behalf

    Reply

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