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McGuinness concern at continuing detention of Brendan Lillis

3 August, 2011 - by Westminster

Sinn Féin MP Martin McGuinness has expressed his concern at the circumstances surrounding the continuing detention of Brendan Lillis. Mr McGuinness’ remarks come after a Sinn Féin delegation once again met with Mr Lillis in Maghaberry prison today.

Mr McGuinness said:

“The decision of the British Secretary of State Owen Patterson to revoke the licence of Brendan Lillis is reminiscent of internment without trial. I have on several occasions expressed my opposition directly to Mr Patterson in regard to the British government’s use of this tactic.

“There can be no doubt that Brendan Lillis is seriously ill and does not represent a threat to anyone. It has already been decided that he is too ill to stand trial. David Ford is aware of my concerns and my view that Brendan Lillis should be released on compassionate and humanitarian grounds. Brendan Lillis needs to be in a proper hospital in order to receive medical treatment. He should not be in Maghaberry Prison.

“I have sought and received legal opinion on this matter. It is crystal clear that Mr Ford has the power to release Brendan Lillis on compassionate and humanitarian grounds. The advice I have received states that David Ford has the legal power to act and is not accountable to the British Government’s Life Sentence Review Commission. I trust that David Ford will take the right decision on compassionate and humanitarian grounds.”

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