New Communist Party of Britain
Statement signed by over 50 Communist & Workers Parties at Athens Greece in solidarity with Sean Garland
We, the undersigned Communist and Workers parties attending the 18th Congress of the Communist Party of Greece, Athens on 18th/22nd February 2009, condemn the arrest of Comrade Sean Garland, former President of the Workers’ Party of Ireland and current member of the Central Executive committee. He was arrested outside the Party offices in Dublin on Friday 30th January 2009, at the request of the U.S. authorities who are seeking his extradition to the U.S. The request for the extradition was signed by Condoleezza Rice in the final days of the Bush Administration.
Comrade Garland was first arrested in October 2005 while attending the Party congress in Belfast. This was a blatant attempt by the U.S. authorities to take advantage of the unjust and controversial extradition treaty between the U.S. and British governments which would have afforded him little or no legal protection. After having been granted permission to return to Dublin for urgent medical attention, after much consideration Sean Garland decided not to return to Northern Ireland.
Sean Garland has lived openly and has conducted his political activities and engagements in public for the last 3 years. He made his address known to the Irish authorities. He is 75 years old and is in serious ill health, suffering from a number of medical conditions.
Sean Garland has consistently denied any wrongdoing. He has received strong support from a wide spectrum of political, trade union and public figures concerned at the manner in which he was treated. Sean Garland is being subjected to a relentless and vindictive campaign of persecution by the U.S government.
We condemn this blatant attack on a leading member of The Workers’ Party of Ireland who has pursued a struggle against imperialism for almost 60 years. We express our solidarity with the Workers’ Party of Ireland and with Comrade Sean Garland in the fight against extradition to the U.S.
We demand the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of these extradition proceedings on political, legal and humanitarian grounds and call on all communist, workers parties and progressive organisation to send messages of support to the Workers’ Party at firstname.lastname@example.org and the Campaign to Defend Sean Garland at: email@example.com
6th March 2009