Today marks the 200th day of internment without trail of Tony Taylor. Family, friends and activists in Derry marked the occasion by holding a whiteline protest in the centre of Derry to reiterate calls for his immediate release. Members of a number of political parties were represented on the picket line as well as non-aligned activists and memebers of the Workers Solidarity Movement.
Over 200 days ago Tony Taylor was arrested by the PSNI whilst out shopping with his family and immediately taken to Maghaberry prison and incarcerated without questioning, legal representation or a trial.
In a statement issued by COGUS a republican prisoner support group earlier today, it spoke of the distress and trauma left behind with Tony’s family following his political abduction.
It has left “Tony and his family in a state of distress and confusion, the PSNI then informed them that his license had been revoked by British Secretary of State Theresa Villiers but refused to disclose any reasons behind this revocation. Later it was revealed that Tony’s license hadn’t been revoked until a number of days after his incarceration, therefore his arrest was little more than State sponsored kidnap.
“After spending over 100 days behind bars still in the dark about the reasons behind his incarceration, Theresa Villiers stood down as Secretary of State and was replaced by James Brokenshire. Brokenshire should have immediately rectified this abhorrent situation, instead he chose to ignore it and pretend Tony Taylor wasn’t kidnapped by the PSNI on 10th March 2016. 74 days into his reign and he continues to ignore it. Effectively disregarding Tony’s human rights in a feeble attempt to cover up an MI5 directive based on ‘secret evidence’ and smothered under the blanket of ‘national security’.
“In this so called ‘post-conflict’ dispensation, in which we are continually told that democracy underpins a new movement toward a new society why does the State act as an undemocratic arbiter in the case of Tony Taylor? In 2016 both the British and Irish governments allow State intelligence and military bodies to strip Irish citizens of their human rights in order to stifle their political opposition to the status quo. How does this fit into the ‘new dispensation’?
“If Tony, as the State says, poses a risk to the public, then why is the nature of the evidence kept from the public? If Tony isn’t a risk to the public, then why is he in Maghaberry? These are two simple questions that every human rights and justice group should be asking James Brokenshire today. Tony Taylor is a victim of internment; speak out.”