9th August 1999
“Not surprised but sad”, said the MCB Secretary General, Iqbal Sacranie, commenting on the just announced sentences in Yemen committing 8 British detainees to imprisonment.
“Concerned as we already were over allegations of torture and flowed prosecution, we are naturally very sad at the outcome for these young men and their families. Now, that the Yemeni law has taken its course, the MCB would like to appeal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh to use his discretion to show clemency to these young men so that they can open a new page and build anew their shattered lives. We also request Prime Minster, Tony Blair, to intercede with the Yemeni President.”
Iqbal Sacranie said: “There are also in this unhappy episode some very important lessons for our British Muslim Community, especially its leadership at the local and grassroots level. It has to devote greater attention to its young, vulnerable, alienated, disillusioned and unemployed youth.”
“Experience also shows that while planning an oversees trip whether for business, education or tourism, it is always advisable to check carefully on the social and political climate before landing into uncharted territory.”