Martina Anderson raises Tony Taylor case during visit with seriously ill former ETA commander

Martina Anderson.
Martina Anderson.

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson, speaking from the gates of a French jail where this morning she visited the seriously ill Basque political prisoner Ibon Fernandez Iradi, has called for the immediate release of Derry republican Tony Taylor.

Mrs. Anderson mentioned the plight of Mr. Taylor to Mr. Iradi during her visit to Lannemazan prison in Toulouse.

"I discussed the case of imprisoned Derry man Tony Taylor with him and reiterate our call that he should also be released immediately," she said.

On Saturday, Mr. Taylor will have spent two years in prison after having had his licence revoked by the former Secretary of State Theresa Villiers in 2016.

The Derry MEP was in France calling for the release of Mr. Iradi, a former ETA commander who was jailed for 30 years in 2008 for the attempted murder of a French policeman in one of the principal Basque cities Bayonne.

She said: "He has been imprisoned in various prisons far from his home as a result of the displacement policy since 2003 and in 2013 was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

"He is one of around 20 seriously ill Basque political prisoners named in a European Parliament report raising concerns about the human rights of prisoners.

"I visited him to see the conditions in which he is being held at first hand and to report back to my colleagues in the European Parliament.

"His continued detention is incompatible with his health and he should be released immediately so he can access the healthcare he needs."