‘Tony Taylor was arrested on a shopping trip with his family based on MI5 assessment’

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Campaigners for the release of Derry republican, Tony Taylor, will launch a new intitiative to highlight his ongoing incarceration on Friday.

The Tony Taylor Justice Campaign has asked supporters to attend the event at 7.30pm in the Tower Hotel.

The meeting will also be addressed by members of the Craigavon Two campaign, which has claimed that John Paul Wooton and Brendan McConville, both of whom are serving jail terms for the murder of PSNI Constable Stephen Carroll in 2009, have suffered under a miscarriage of justice.

The meeting organisers have again pointed out that the decision to revoke Mr. Taylor’s licence last year was based on a risk assessment by the security services.

In a statement released in advance of the meeting, the group said: “Tony Taylor was arrested in March 2016 and taken to Maghaberry prison whilst on a shopping trip with his family.

“The decision to detain Tony was not based on a new conviction but was made by the British Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Parole Commission based on a MI5 assessment which alleges ‘republican activity’, the same ‘republican activity’ for which Tony was questioned and unconditionally released in October 2015.”

The campaigners claim Mr. Taylor’s continued detention amounts to internment.

“Tony’s case is regarded by many as internment in all but name,” the group stated.

“Internment has been used in the past as a repressive tool of the Stormont regime to silence political opponents and to curtail lawful political activity. While the name has changed the fact that people are still being denied their liberty in the absence of due process cannot be disputed. This policy failed in the past and it will again.”

The group also described the convictions of Wooton and McConville as “unsafe”.