Jim McIlmurray writes on the continued internment of republican Martin Corey on the Lurgan internee’s 63rd birthday. For the Pensive Quill.
Today, September 2, 2013, is the 63rd birthday of Martin Corey.
Today is also the date the Parole Commissioners were to commence Martin’s annual Parole hearing. We received communication on Friday, the 30th of August, informing us that this open hearing to review Martin’s ongoing detention would not commence on this date, with no alternative date being suggested or discussed with us.
Martin is entitled by law to an annual Parole hearing, and yet he has not received one in over two years.
A variety of reasons have been given for the delay, including blaming Martin himself for his “legal challenges” against his detention under Article 5 (4) (the right to have a court decide the lawfulness of his detention under the European convention of Human Rights).
Recent violations of Human Rights in the Middle East have received worldwide condemnation, including by the British government who stated that they ‘will continue to play an active and forthright role in international institutions that promote and protect human rights.’ They also emphasised the UK’s own commitment to strengthen human rights, both domestically and internationally.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2012 that it was unacceptable to deny an annual parole hearing to anyone held in custody. This ruling ollowed a case of a man who waited 14 months for a parole hearing. Martin Corey has now waited 25 months.
The Secretary of State in a recent communication stated, ‘an individual who served a life sentence can be returned to prison if they pose a risk to the public or commits further offences.’ Since Martin’s arrest in April 2010, he has never been charged with a crime, questioned by police regarding a crime, or given any explanation as to the risk he poses to the public.
Martin served 19 years in prison prior to his release in 1992. He has now served the equivalent of a seven year sentence since his arrest in 2010.
Martin has not committed any crime. He poses no risk to the public and I am calling for his immediate release today.
I spoke with Martin this morning and he wishes to express his gratitude to those who sent messages and cards and also for their continued support in highlighting the ongoing injustice perpetrated upon him by the British government.