The continued incarceration of Derry republican Tony Taylor has been described as political, extrajudicial and a denial of due process, by MLAs during a debate at the Stormont Assembly.
Sinn Féin MLA Declan Kearney said: “The prison environment should be kept free from outside political interference, including that of the NIO, which is currently using Maghaberry prison to wrongfully detain Tony Taylor on an extrajudicial basis.”
People Before Profit MLA Eamonn McCann said: “We heard a few moments ago that all prisoners are the same. They are not the same. If a prisoner is in Maghaberry on the basis of the signature of a Secretary of State and not on the basis of having been brought to court on any charge — that is the situation in the case of Tony Taylor - then we have established clearly that there are differences in status.
“If Tony Taylor is not a political prisoner, what type of prisoner is he? He is certainly not a convicted prisoner.”
And Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney said: “In the middle of this, there are prisoners who have not received due process.
“We have to come at the arguments or discussions on whether prisoners are the same and should be treated the same with that in mind.
“There is no doubt that, at the heart of this, there are political perspectives, and people have views of how prisoners should be treated.”