Belfast Telegraph

Rally to call for release of dissident Tony Taylor in Londonderry

Tony Taylor has now been imprisoned for two years

A protest is to be held in Derry on Saturday calling for the release of dissident republican prisoner Tony Taylor.

This week marks two years since Taylor was imprisoned following the revoking of his license by then Secretary of State Theresa Villiers.

The protest is to take place at Derry's Courthouse at 2pm on Saturday afternoon followed by a walk to Guildhall Square.

In a short statement Taylor called for as many people as possible to attend the rally to show their support.

"As we approach the 47th anniversary of the introduction of interment in 1971, it is telling, is it not, that the British government is still employing such draconian legislation to imprison those in political opposition," the statement read

"As a consequence, and as a victim of  such action, I once again need and ask for your attendance this Saturday evening March 10 at a rally organised calling for my immediate release. Gathering outside Derry Court House at 2pm, ending in a short walk to Guildhall Square.

"In finishing, I would like to emphasise that it is vital that we get as many people as possible to attend this event and the many others organised right across Ireland and further afield. Therefore, I call on all to make every effort to mark this event because without you and your voice me and my family would be very much alone in this fight for justice."

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) said his licence was revoked by the Parole Commission because of the risk he posed to the public.

Taylor, a former IRA man, was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 1994 after he was seriously injured in a premature explosion in Derry.

He was then released under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

In 2011, Taylor was then sentenced to three years behind bars for possession of a rifle in a case that made history by using covert surveillance evidence gathered by a drone.

The 48-year-old is currently detained at Maghaberry Prison.

At the weekend posters calling for Mr Taylor's release were erected in Derry and Strabane.

The posters caused controversy as they featured the logo of Derry City and Strabane District Council.

DUP Foyle MLA Gary Middleton called for an urgent investigation into the situation.

In 2016, the council backed a motion tabled by independent councillor Gary Donnelly to call for Mr Taylor's immediate release.




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