Category Archives: Prisons

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

Friends of Brendan Lillis!/home.php?sk

Photo: Pauline McCabe and her team


Northern Ireland: Human rights violations in prisons

Pauline McCabe, Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland: ‘We investigate the complaints from prisoners and the deaths in prisons but we cannot be helpful’

date: 28 juni 2011
Subject: RE: Prisoner Ombudsman Enquiry Form

Dear Jan

Thank you for your email in relation to Mr Brendan Lillis.

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.

Yours sincerely

Prisoner Ombudsman’s Office
22nd Floor, Windsor House
Bedford Street
Belfast BT2 7FT

Human rights violations in Northern Ireland

Brussels, 29.6.2011
Pauline McCabe, Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland

Dear Madam,

I read that with effect from 1 September 2005 the remit of the Prisoner Ombudsman was extended as required by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to investigate deaths in Prison Service Custody.

There were now 3 deaths on 3 months, in the Maghaberry prison in Northern Ireland and Brendan Lillis who is very sick and lies during more than 450 days in bed, is dying in this prison.

He needs urgent help from you.

Jan Boeykens
President of Werkgroep Morkhoven

Friends of Brendan Lillis
Your message has been sent!

Ireland: Maghaberry prisoners campaign

Tuesday-Sunday, 31 May – 5 June, 2011

Support grows for Maghaberry campaign

Up to 500 people gathered outside the gates of the notorious Maghaberry prison in Lisburn on Sunday afternoon in protest at the treatment of republican prisoners at the jail.

Despite a number of cars and buses being stopped by the PSNI and
prevented from attending, relatives and supporters of the prisoners were happy with the turnout.

Conditions for prisoners have deteriorated in recent weeks, with an
increase in beatings, degrading strip searches and other human rights violations.

Last August, following talks with the British authorities, an agreement was reached to end strip searching before domestic and legal visits.

However, over the last few weeks, around 15 prisoners have been holding their own protest after the agreement was unilaterally binned by the Stormont regime.

In addition to the beatings, the prisoners are now being subjected to
23-24 hour lock-up and many have been forced to begin a no wash protest.

Newry Councillor David Hyland said the Six-County Justice Minister David Ford was holding out on information that could bring the protests to an end. “The minister, we believe, has had a set of recommendations for the assessment which would clarify it for us and bring this protest to an end,” Mr Hyland said.  “He has had this since January of this year and he hasn’t acted on it – the big question for us is why.”

Runai ginearalta eirigi Breandan Mac Cionnaith added his party’s support for the protest.

He said: “The situation in Maghaberry jail has reached crisis point.
Republican prisoners are being brutalised and assaulted by gangs of
prison officers on an appallingly regular basis – the latest victim
being Harry Fitzsimons as recently as Monday.” He said the situation was “intolerable” and “goes against not just the August 12 agreement but every notion of humane treatment.” “Policy in Maghaberry prison is currently being dictated by the notoriously sectarian Prison Officers Association, with all the negative consequences that that entails. “Pressure must be placed on the British government to face down these bigots and implement a humane prison regime, in line with the August 12 agreement. Ultimately, only the full restoration of political status for political prisoners will resolve the conflict in Maghaberry.”

Sinn Fein’s Raymond McCartney called for the outstanding agreement between prisoners and the prison administration to be implemented in full “as a matter of urgency”.

“It is important that prisoners rights are protected and that human
rights are to the fore of the prison regime,” he said.

“I will be pressing the prison administration and the Justice Minister
on the mater to ensure that this is done. The situation cannot be
allowed to deteriorate any further and a resolution must be forthcoming without further delay.”

He also reiterated his call on British Direct Ruler Owen Paterson to
rescind his decision to summarily imprison Marian Price, secretary of the 32 County Sovereignty Committee.

“The revoking of Marian Price’s licence is completely unacceptable. “The move by Owen Paterson amounts to detention without trial; this runs contrary to natural justice. The Justice system must be human rights based and the revoking of Marian Price’s licence is totally unacceptable.

Sinn Fein raised our concerns on this issue with the British Secretary of State at the time of Marian Price’s arrest and will continue to do so in the interests of justice and the human rights of the individual.”


British government violates human rights

The UK government violates human rights, as we can see in the case of Brendan Lillis, the Irish prisoner who is detained in the British Maghaberry prison and risks to die.

It is clear that the British Government lies about human rights….

The British Government lies about human rights:

Government, citizens and rights
Human rights

Anyone who is in the UK for any reason has fundamental human rights which the government and public authorities are legally obliged to respect. These became law as part of the Human Rights Act 1998.

Human Rights Act
The Human Rights Act 1998 gives further legal effect in the UK to the fundamental rights and freedoms contained in the European Convention on Human Rights. These rights not only impact matters of life and death, they also affect the rights you have in your everyday life: what you can say and do, your beliefs, your right to a fair trial and other similar basic entitlements.
Most rights have limits to ensure that they do not unfairly damage other people’s rights. However, certain rights – such as the right not to be tortured – can never be limited by a court or anybody else.
You have the responsibility to respect other people’s rights, and they must respect yours.
Your human rights are:
the right to life
freedom from torture and degrading treatment
freedom from slavery and forced labour
the right to liberty
the right to a fair trial
the right not to be punished for something that wasn’t a crime when you did it
the right to respect for private and family life
freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and freedom to express your beliefs
freedom of expression
freedom of assembly and association
the right to marry and to start a family
the right not to be discriminated against in respect of these rights and freedoms
the right to peaceful enjoyment of your property
the right to an education
the right to participate in free elections
the right not to be subjected to the death penalty
If any of these rights and freedoms are breached, you have a right to an effective solution in law, even if the breach was by someone in authority, such as, for example, a police officer.

Exercising your human rights

If you are in a situation in which you believe that your human rights are being violated, it’s advisable to see if the problem can be resolved without going to court by using mediation or an internal complaints body.
Where you believe your rights have not been respected and you cannot resolve the problem outside court, you are entitled to bring a case before the appropriate court or tribunal in the UK. The court or tribunal will then consider your case.
Friends of Brendan Lillis:

The British Government about citizens and rights and human rights: