US expected to free remaining Guantanamo Brits
THE FOUR remaining Britons detained in Guantanamo Bay are to be released, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was due to announce today.
The move follows months of controversy and painstaking negotiation between the British and American governments.
The four - Moazzam Begg from Birmingham, Feroz Abbasi, from Croydon, south London, Martin Mubanga, from Wembley, north west London and Richard Belmar, from St John’s Wood, north-west London - are expected to be questioned by UK anti-terror police after being released by the US. A decision will then be taken on whether they should be released or remain in custody in the UK.
Louise Christian, who represents Mr Abbasi and Mr Mubanga, said: "They’ve served the equivalent of a six-year prison sentence in the UK without being charged or put on trial. In conditions where they are kept in cages and credible evidence of torture and ill-treatment, I think that makes it urgent the British Government gets them back."
She added: "This happened the last time [British detainees were release]), there were leaks before we were told officially. The families could have their hopes raised and shattered but I’m hopeful."
Mr Begg’s father Azmat has been a central figure in the campaign to free his son, shuttling between his home in Sparkhill, Birmingham, and New York and Washington.
Last year, Moazzam Begg said he had been subjected to "vindictive torture" and death threats by the US authorities.
He said in a handwritten letter, declassified by the US, that he had witnessed the deaths of two fellow detainees "at the hands of US military personnel" in Af-ghanistan.
Begg, 36, wrote that he had been tortured while listening to the "terrifying screams" of inmates.
Another three Britons, Rhuhel Ahmed, Asif Iqbal and Shafiq Rasul, who were released last March, also claimed in a 115-page dossier that they had been tortured and mistreated at the American camp.
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