Return of British Detainees from Guantanamo Welcomed

12 Jan 2005

The Muslim Council of Britain welcomes today’s announcement by the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw about the return to the UK within weeks of the four remaining British detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

“These four individuals have been through an appallingly lengthy and unjust ordeal in which they have been deliberately held by the US authorities in a legal black hole without recourse to the most basic and humane standards of due process. It is against our most cherished notions of justice to hold people without charge for so long. Their return has been long overdue. We now hope that the several hundred detainees from other countries still being held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay will also be allowed to return home,” said Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.

The MCB continues to call upon the UK government also 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.

`If these men have done or were planning something as serious as we have been led to believe then they should be charged and brought to trial. If not, they should be released without delay and given medical attention. Some of them have already been detained for almost three years now without trial and we are deeply concerned about their health and mental state. We should put an end to our own mini-Guantanamo Bay detention centre,’ added Iqbal Sacranie.

[Ends]

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,
Tel: 07708 065 150, or 0208 432 0585/6, Fax: 0208 432 0587, Email: media@mcb.org.uk, Website: http://www.mcb.org.uk