09 Sep 2003
Representatives from the Muslim Council of Britain are due to meet the Attorney-General, Lord Goldsmith, today to express the deep-seated concerns in the British Muslim community over the treatment of the British detainees at Guantanamo Bay and to press the government to secure their return to this country to face any possible legal action.
“We are very worried about the personal welfare and legal rights of these British citizens, many of whom have been detained by the United States for over 18 months now without access to lawyers of their choice or any sight of the evidence against them. Our government should be fulfilling its duty of protecting the rights of all its citizens. We know that when white British citizens have been convicted of serious criminal offences in the past our government has spared no effort to get them returned to this country. We do not expect any discrimination from our government on behalf of its British Muslim citizens,” said Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the MCB.
There is widespread outrage in the British Muslim community over the US decision to try the detainees in military tribunals.
“The US allowed its own citizen John Walker Lindh to be tried in a US civilian court last year, but it is unwilling to grant Muslim detainees the same rights. The British detainees have been left to languish in cages with only 30 minutes exercise a week, presumably in an effort to break their spirit. This is an absolute mockery of the due process of law,” said Iqbal Sacranie.[Ends]
Note to Editors
The meeting with the Attorney General will take place at 4.15pm on Tuesday 9th September 2003 at his official chambers.
For further information please contact:
Tel: 0705 0124 951, 07860 375 725, 07887 702 613 or 07956 353738