Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the human rights of prisoners must be respected.
Speaking during a debate on prisoners rights in the European Parliament, Martina Anderson said:
“As someone who spent more than 13 years in jail as a political prisoner I have a interest in ensuring that prisoners rights are respected and upheld.
“Irish republicans spent thousands of years in prison as a result of the conflict, often in terrible conditions. Many were ill-treated and tortured and in 1981 Bobby Sands and nine comrades died on hunger strike for political status.
“The Good Friday Agreement saw the release of political prisoners to advance the peace process.
“But even today we have the case of Derry man Tony Taylor who continues to be detained by the British government without a trial and should be released immediately.
“And internationally, Palestine political prisoners still face injustice and unlawful detention while Basque prisoners are incarcerated hundreds of miles from their loved ones as a result of unfair dispersal policies.
“Prison systems must show that human rights are upheld consistently and should never be used as a weapon against prisoners.”