Tony Taylor to be released after almost 1,000 days

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Republican political prisoner Tony Taylor is set to be freed tomorrow after spending 994 days interned at Maghaberry Jail without charge.

It is understood that onerous conditions have been imposed for his release from Maghaberry jail, which is set to take place in the morning.

British military intelligence had long claimed to hold ‘secret’ information which backed the indefinite detention of the lifelong republican activist, who was chairperson of Republican Network for Unity at the time of his internment.

After a lengthy campaign, the Parole Board in the North finally agreed to his release earlier today, but this was delayed overnight for what were described as administrative reasons.

Mr Taylor’s wife Lorraine, who has led the group calling for her husband’s release, paid tribute to all those who helped in the campaign.

“It will really make our Christmas special for us,” she said. “Myself, the children and Tony’s parents are all delighted and very relieved to have him back with us.

“We are concerned nonetheless at some of the punitive restrictions which continue to be placed on Tony, who has already spent the equivalent of a five-year sentence in jail without charge.”

The release of the local man follows a long campaign led by his family, legal team, the local community, local political groups and activists.

While his legal team and campaign group had always contested his imprisonment on basic justice and human rights grounds, Mr Taylor’s family had recently appealed for his release for humanitarian reasons.

Mr Taylor’s parents are both seriously ill and housebound, while his son Blaine has a profound disability.

Earlier this month, Mr Taylor’s father Willie made a direct appeal to the British government for his son’s release.

He said his son’s continued detention was “vindictive and merciless”.

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