Interned Derry republican Tony Taylor is to sue the British government for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment.
Mr Taylor has spent more than a year in jail without charge after he was summarily imprisoned by then British Direct Ruler Theresa Villiers.
Mr Taylor’s lawyer Aiden Carlin said that a writ has been served on her successor, James Brokenshire. The legal action was launched after Mr Taylor’s legal team pointed out that his initial detention in March 2016 for three weeks was unlawful under British law.
Last month parole commissioners refused to approve his release from Maghaberry prison despite support from across the political spectrum. Those who took part in the parole hearing earlier this year are legally banned from speaking about it.
The lawyer said compensation is now being sought for the first weeks Mr Taylor spent in detention.
“However, the status quo remains,” Mr Carlin said. “Tony Taylor is still in custody and a judicial review of the lawfulness, necessity and proportionality of his recall is also being pursued.
“There is simply no objective evidence that Tony Taylor has breached the conditions of his license. On our instructions, Tony Taylor has positively contributed to local politics in Derry by lawfully and peacefully raising benefit cuts, prison conditions and policing issues.
“It is argued that his recall is internment in all but name. It is without justification and sets a very dangerous precedent for republican ex-prisoners.
“For the reasons above, Tony Taylor’s recall should be a matter of concern for all those with an interest in human rights.”
The 32 County Sovereignty Movement will be holding a picket for Tony Taylor at the Bridge of peace Drogheda on Sunday, the 9th July 2017 at 1pm - 2pm. A protest is also taking place this Saturday afternoon at the British Embassy in Dublin, as well as in London.
Last week, [Saturday, June 24] up to 120 people took to the streets of Newry to oppose British Internment, organised by the Anti-Internment group of Ireland.
However, for the duration of the picket, British Crown Forces had the event surrounded with several armoured cars and numerous armed personnel. A checkpoint was also set up in nearby Monaghan Row, overlooking the protest. The PSNI ultimately moved in and disrupted the event, interrupting the speeches, and threatening the participants with arrest.
Stephen Murney of Saoradh in Newry said the annual picket was a colourful, vibrant and peaceful display of resistance and solidarity.
“Given that this event is now in its fourth year and has always passed off without incident, questions need to be asked as to why the British state forces have suddenly changed tactics. Why have they decided after four years to take a threatening approach to a perfectly peaceful event?”