Irish republican prisoner Michael Campbell, who has been held in Lukiskes prison in Lithuania since early 2008, has now contracted malaria at the jail.
Mr Campbell’s family has indicated that his condition is not good and that his health is deteriorating rapidly.
Conditions at the Lukiskes prison have been described as ‘medieval’ and one of the worst in Europe. Temperatures in the cell blocks are known to be freezing cold in the winter and stifling hot in the summer. The jail is a holdover of KGB days and has reportedly been used for torture of CIA extraordinary rendition suspects.
Under prison regulations, Mr Campbell is held in his cell 23 hours a day and has not seen any of his family since before his arrest. Due to trial delays, he also cannot apply for repatriation to Ireland.
He is not allowed phone calls and the only person who can see him is his solicitor.
His family has expressed concern that Mr Campbell is now sharing his cell with drug and heroin dealers and “people with all kinds of diseases.”
“The shocking news that Michael has now somehow contracted a deadly sub-Saharan disease in an archaic Lithuanian prison is an intolerable development in a case that has become a virtual hallmark of inhumanity to a political prisoner,” the Irish Freedom Committee said on Saturday.
“During his long internment at Lukiskes Michael has endured hellish conditions including being confined to a tiny and freezing cold cell with an open hole in the floor to use as a toilet.
“He was held for some time in a cell with inmates who openly smoked drugs and Michael was forced to stand beside a broken window in the depth of winter to breathe fresh air.”
The New-York based IFC also said it remained outraged at the extraordinary delays in Michael’s trial and launched a letter-writing campaign on his behalf.
DUFFY CAMPAIGN RELAUNCHED
Meanwhile, the family and friends of Colin Duffy has announced the relaunch of their campaign against his internment without trial.
The campaign was “put on hold” in order to allow the family and friends of Colin to focus their attention on the recent protest in Maghaberry jail involving all republican prisoners, of which Mr Duffy was a part.
The Duffy family thanked those who campaigned on his behalf since his incarceration over a year and a half ago and hoped that all those involved will redouble their efforts in the coming weeks and months. The campaign operates a website at https://friendsofcolinduffy.com