Protest at embassy over planned extradition

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A protest is to take place in Dublin on Saturday against the impending extradition of republican Liam Campbell, set to be sent to Lithuania for a trial on arms charges despite never having set foot in the country.

Anti Imperialist Action Ireland and Macradh-ISR Youth are organising the protest at noon at the Lithuanian Embassy in Ballsbridge.

A legal battle against his extradition has already spanned over a decade. A dozen local councillors across Ireland have said they will oppose a ruling to extradite him.

Republican Sinn Féin said the recent judgement ordering his extradition was a gross violation of Mr Campbell’s human rights. They called on human rights bodies such as the Irish Council of Civil Liberties and Amnesty to speak out on the case.

“The judgement takes no account of the dreadful human rights record of Lithuania and, as his legal team argued, the fact he would be subject to ‘inhuman and degrading treatment’ once he is handed over to the Lithuanian authorities.

“In 2019 the UN’s Committee Against Torture issued a damning report on Lithuanian prisons. In the report they expressed serious concerns about the conditions in which prisoners were held across the entire prison system.

“Chief among their concerns were the cases of “extreme physical and psychological violence” carried out by prison guards on prisoners. The committee also reported high levels of violence, intimidation, and exploitation among prisoners.

“It is to this inhumane and brutal regime that the 26-County High Court intend to hand over Liam Campbell. The decision of the court shows an utter disregard and contempt for the human rights and welfare of an Irish citizen. The case itself is also an abuse of legal process as it was deliberately dragged out by the Lithuanians over a ten-year period.

The Irish Republican Socialist Party said the continued extradition of political prisoners to foreign jails was “dehumanising” and “a tactic used to break political activists”.

Liam’s brother Michael Campbell was also held in Lithuania but came home in 2014 thanks to a broad-based campaign, they noted.

“Michael Campbell’s repatriation was a victory for Irish Republicanism because we all worked together, Sinn Féin’s Martina Anderson raised the issue in Brussels, we had lobbying from TD’s Clare Daly and Mick Wallace with various other human rights groups supporting his cause. For Liam Campbell’s dire situation to be reversed we need to see those same political elements rally behind the campaign to stop the extradition,” they said.

“We need to see real political pressure put on the Irish Government establishment to stop this extradition in the coming weeks.”

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