Brendan Lillis like many other political prisoners currently held in the North of Ireland, is a prisoner of conscience.
He dared defy the status quo with his differing opinion, and therefore was seen as refusing to engage in the process of ‘normalisation’, the delusion that the Irish national question has been solved.
To refuse to comply with ‘normalisation’ is treated as a very serious offence in either state on this island, especially in the North, were it is liable to see your reputation and standing blackened, even be forcibly ostracised and marginalised from society.
It is particularly grave to be a former republican prisoner, someone who has done his/her time to openly refuse compliance with normalisation, to be what has been coined by the pro-normalisation media as a ‘dissident republican’.
To be a former republican POW who is now an open ‘dissident’ republican is likely to make you fair game to be locked away in prison indefinitely without trial or sentencing by state forces in conjunction with the British court system.
It makes sense for the British controlled establishment through the Security services controlled and directed by British intelligence agencies, and British influenced judiciary to lock away former republican POWs who now are openly critical of the status quo in the North of Ireland.
Former and current republican POWs are held in high regard in republican and nationalist communities, their opinion means much to the people of these communities and therefore when an ex-POW vocally ojects to status quo, it irks the establishment who know the threat this poses to their agenda.
The fact that the United Ireland these ex-pows went to jail for is not on offer by the British occupiers,
their administration in the North and pro-British/pro-Good friday elements have forced ex-POWs to instead accept a reformed ‘Northern Ireland’ that has only benefited the pockets of an elite section of society mainly the conformist constitutional political parties both nationalist and unionist.
The sectarian bleak unjustly authoritarian nature of the North is still a reality for the vast majority.
This brutal and unjust practise of locking men and women away for no reason is known as internment by remand, and is condemned by all human rights organisations both official and unofficial
There are currently a large number of men and women interned in British controlled prisons in the North of Ireland, most former ex-political prisoners.
Brendan Lillis, a former political prisoner who served a particularly large sentence for IRA related activities dating back to the 1970’s, is one of these internees, but unfortunately Brendan’s situation is more worrying then most as Brendan is an extremely ill man.
Brendan was arrested and charged by security services regarding a ‘conspiracy to commit a tiger kidnapping’, yet despite the case being thrown out when it reached trial the British administration deemed the allegation enough alone to revoke Brendans license and since is being held a political hostage in Maghaberry prison, essentially locked away purely for his beliefs, a gross injustice.
This has being a very traumatic time for Brendan and his family due to the fact Brendan suffers from an extremely dehibilitating illness known as ankylosing spondylitis, which greatly affects the quality of his life.
It has gotten to the stage that Brendan’s wife feels he may die prematurely due to the strain his imprisonment is having on his health, it could be the case he may die in the next ten days.
This is a blatant case of cruel and unusual punishment, and the Irish and British establishments are completely oblivious even outright not care about his plight, the same can be said for near all mainstream political parties,
if Brendan dies, all are complicit attempt to murder.
Therefore it is up to any organisation, movement and individuals who care about Brendans plight now to act NOW before its too late, highlighting Brendans situation and putting pressure on those who can amend it.
What we want is simple,
Brendans immediate release from Maghaberry prison and his return to his family, were in turn he can seek proper medical assistance that can prolong his life.
Republicans and concerned republicans in the Leinster area have decided something needs to be done, and a number of protests, pickets, spread of information and other actions to highlight the case of Brendan Lillis will take place
All republican, socialists, anti-imperialists and concerned individuals are urged to help us in this task, regardless of political opinion nor stance, this is after all a humanitarian issue which every human being should be concerned about
There will be a picket on Wednesday 18th of July on the Bridge of peace, Drogheda Co Louth at 7pm, please make the effort to attend.
There will be other events and actions planned, so watch this space
Don’t let this man die in a British prison for nothing!
Save him now and set him free!
BBC interview with Brendan Lillis’ partner Roisin Lynch (18.7.2011):
Click on http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b012m7nh
Then go forward to 1:05:05 – 7 days left to listen again
Friends of Brendan Lillis:
Sign the petition: