Free Tony Taylor call after 700 days in jail

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Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has again called for the immediate release of Derry republican, Tony Taylor, who this week will have spent 700 days in jail despite not having been charged with any fresh offences.

The Foyle MLA has called for Mr. Taylor’s immediate release and described his continued incarceration as a clear denial of due process.

Mr. Taylor, a former spokesman for the Republican Network for Unity (RNU) in the city, was arrested whilst on a shopping trip with his family on March 10, 2016, the day after the former Secretary of State for the North, Theresa Villiers, revoked his release licence. The Foyle Springs man had previously served part of an 18-years jail term after being blown up in a premature explosion in Derry in 1994 but was released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

In 2014 he was sentenced to a further three years imprisonment for possession of a rifle in 2011 but was released under licence not long afterwards having already served most of the term on remand.

Mr. McCartney said: “As we approach 700 days of his incarceration, I repeat Sinn Féin’s call for the immediate release of Derry man Tony Taylor.

“He should either be released immediately or brought before a court and given due process.”

“We have long campaigned for Tony’s release. His arrest and imprisonment without recourse to due process is a practice that is totally unacceptable and needs to end immediately.”

The former Sinn Féin justice spokesman said Mr. Taylor’s continued detention in Maghaberry was a denial of his basic human rights.

Mr. McCartney said the revocation of the Derry man’s licence was an injustice that needed to be overturned.

“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,” he said.