RNU have learned that our comrade, Ard Comhairle member Tony Taylor, this morning sustained multiple injuries in what can only be described as a savage attack, launched on him by Prison Officers as he was about to leave Maghaberry Prison en route to Derry Courthouse.
Tony, a former H Block POW (who suffers greatly from internal injuries sustained in an explosion) was to learn today whether or not the case against him would proceed, just last week a ‘PE hearing’ heard that little or no evidence existed against him and it is our opinion that he may well have been released this morning had he made his way to court.
He did not get that chance however. As he was about to leave Maghaberry we understand that a savage attack was launched on him by the prison search team under the guise of a ‘routine strip search’.
RNU members travelling to Derry for the hearing were informed by friends of Tony’s that his hearing would not now go ahead, as Tony had been kept in Maghaberry to receive medical treatment due to the beating, specifically for a suspected broken hand.
It is our belief that Prison Officers were aware that Tony was on the verge of release; the day of his last hearing coincided with the death of David Black and on that occasion anger on the faces of prison officers surrounding Tony was apparent. RNU were concerned from that point on that Tony would bear the brunt of their aggression.
This morning it appears that Maghaberry staff did in fact take their aggression out on a lone, vulnerable protesting prisoner, and as a result he was denied the opportunity to face court and gain his rightful freedom.
RNU again call for an immediate end to barbaric Strip Searching procedures in Maghaberry prison, and for the release of Tony Taylor.