Prisons of shame: Pauline McCabe, Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland

Brussels, 8.7.2011

Pauline McCabe, Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland 22nd Floor, Windsor House, Bedford Street, BT2 7FT Ireland

Dear Madam,

Concerns: the deaths in Maghaberry prison, Brendan Lillis who is actually dying in the Maghaberry prison

May I remind you to my letter of 30.6.2011, please ?

In this letter I said that it is not normal that, while you are pretending to investigate the complaints from prisoners and the deaths in prison custody (from 1 September 2005 the remit of the Prisoner Ombudsman was even extended as required by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland), you say that you ‘can not comment and can not be helpful’ in the case of Brendan Lillis.

You say that 'these matters are for Minister for Justice Ford and the prison authorities' but that is not correct. The least you can do as Prisoners Ombudsman which investigates with a special team the many deaths and suicides in the prisons of Northern Ireland, is to make a report of a caseas Brendan Lillis and to take contact with the Minister and the direction of the prison authorities.

As you know very well, Brendan is very sick and he risks to die in the Maghaberry prison of Northern Ireland where there were 3 deaths during the past 3 months.

I learned that Brendan has no right to the visit of a physician from outside the prison. That's in violation of the prison law and international laws. Brendan is now more than 450 days in bed and he is more dead than alive. His situation is getting worse every day. He can hardly move or talk. He would now be fed through a gut that is going ​​directly to his stomach. That is a sadistic torture because they know that he is dying and it is again a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the national and international laws.

Given his health, he has the right to be released.

As I said, there have been many deaths in the Maghaberry prison without you were doing anything to prevent it, without you took your job seriously. You seem to work without human feeling, without thinking of the life of the prisoners and their husbands, their families and friends.

Remember that you are a prisoner ombudsman. So, it is your work to DO something for prisoners.

You think that, by refering to the Minister of Justice and the direction of the prison authorities, you can avoid your responsibility. But it will not help you. If you do not help a very sick prisoner by making a report and contacting the Minister and the prison authorities, you can be prosecuted as he dies.

Yours sincerely,

Jan Boeykens President of Werkgroep Morkhoven Belgium


Friends of Brendan Lillis https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_182248348494841#!/home.php?sk =group_132734503459781

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