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09 Mar 2004
Muslims Welcome Return of Five British Guantanamo Detainees
The Muslim Council of Britain welcomes today's return of five of the 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 limbo by the US authorities. The priority now must be for these returnees to receive immediate counselling and medical help.
"We understand that the police may yet bring charges against these men. It is crucial that if this happens, the men be given a fair trial and are allowed to defend themselves in a court of law. We deplore the presumptions of guilt emanating from certain quarters before a trial has even taken place. Such behaviour can only increase the anguish felt by the families of these men who have already had to endure a terrible situation. These men are all British citizens and are entitled to the same protection and rights as all our citizens," said Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the MCB.
The MCB continues to call upon the government to bring home the remaining four British detainees still being held at Guantanamo Bay.
"We do not believe the remaining British detainees can receive a fair trial in the United States where senior members of the US government from President Bush down have made a series of severely prejudicial statements about them. Their continued incarceration is a blot on that country's claim to be the land of the free," added Mr Sacranie.
Note for Editors:
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 tel: 07956 353 738
For further information please contact the MCB:
The Muslim Council of Britain,
PO Box 57330,
Tel: 0845 26 26 786
Fax: 0207 247 7079