|25 Jan 2005
The Muslim Council of Britain welcomes today’s return of the final four British detainees from Guantanamo Bay.
These returnees have been through an appallingly lengthy and unjust ordeal in which they were deliberately held in a legal black hole by the US authorities. The priority now must be for these returnees to receive immediate counselling and medical help.
`Following discussions with the Home Office yesterday we are pleased to have received assurances that the medical needs of these men will be assessed straight away and their cases will be dealt with expeditiously. These men have, of course, already been questioned extensively by our security services in Guantanamo and we can see no justification for them to be detained any longer than absolutely necessary. We want these men now to be returned into the arms of their waiting families,’ said Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.
The Muslim Council of Britain notes, however, that over 600 men and boys (all of whom are Muslim) from other nations continue to be held at Guantanamo Bay without any prospect of receiving a fair trial. Their continued incarceration is a blot on the United States’ claim to be the land of the free.
The MCB continues also to call upon the UK government to abide by the decision of the Law Lords who in December 2004 ruled that the indefinite detention of foreign terrorism suspects without trial in Belmarsh prison violates human rights laws.[ENDS]
Note for Editors:
1. The Muslim Council of Britain (www.mcb.org.uk) is the UK’s representative Muslim umbrella body with over 400 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.
For further information please contact: The Muslim Council of Britain, Boardman House, 64 Broadway, Stratford, London E15 1NT,