Derry man Tony Taylor has been jailed in Maghaberry following a decision by the British Direct Ruler Theresa Villiers to put him to prison.
Mr Taylor, a leading member of the Republican Network for Unity group, was told he poses a risk to the public. He was taken by the PSNI police straight from his home to Maghaberry jail on Thursday evening.
Mr Taylor is a former political prisoner who has previously been jailed in the H-Blocks of Long Kesh and at Maghaberry. In a statement, the RNU said neither Mr Taylor or his lawyer have been informed of why his released licence was revoked.
“Tony is a popular Republican who has spearheaded the revival of RNU in the Derry area and this is why he now finds himself in Maghaberry jail,” said RNU spokesperson Cait nic Shomhairle.
“The provocative act of revoking his license is an attempt to quell Tony’s determination to build a republican alternative in the North West, and it is another blatant attempt to put RNU out of business. The state and their various forces have been working tirelessly to halt RNU’s progress and ensure the party won’t make it to the Easter 2016 celebrations. Suffice to say - they will fail.
“Here we have another blatant case of internment, whereby a Republican has been sent straight to Maghaberry without crime or trial. The state refuse to disclose why he finds himself in jail, this absolves them from any legal challenge. A few years ago we witnessed the same treatment of Martin Corey. Tony’s case has a striking resemblance. He must be returned to his family immediately.”
Carlin Solicitors say they are to challenge the decision by way of judicial review. They said that since his release from prison, Mr Taylor had positively contributed to local politics in Derry City by peacefully raising benefit cuts, prison conditions and policing issues. “He has not been charged with any offence,” they noted.
Sinn Fein vice-Chair of the Assembly Justice Committee Raymond McCartney called on Villiers to release Mr Taylor immediately or else produce evidence of wrongdoing in open Court.
He said: “The continued use of unjust powers by the British government to revoke a person’s license without producing any evidence of wrongdoing is an affront to human rights and natural justice.”