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Let’s See What The Foreign Press Is Saying.


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I do read how the Foreign Press portrays the United States as when it comes to the treatment of the Detainees in Guantanamo (which is always negative.) These two are the latest press releases floating out there.







Guantanamo four are released without charge





THE four Britons who were returned to the UK after being detained without trial at the United States prison camp in Guantanamo Bay for three years were freed last night without charge.


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, were all released from Paddington Green station.


After the men’s refusal to answer police questions, prosecutors agreed there was insufficient evidence to proceed with criminal charges and all four were freed.


Last night, the men were understood to have been escorted to a location of their choice to be reunited with their families.


The Pentagon said British authorities had given assurances that the detainees would "not pose a continuing security threat to the United States or its allies".


After years of campaigning, civil rights groups welcomed the men’s release. Stephen Jakobi, of Fair Trials Abroad, said he was delighted by the news.


"That is a good thing - game over. This is good both for them and their families."


But he added: "This does not let Tony Blair off the hook, much as he would love to be off the hook," he said.


Neil Durkin, a spokesman for Amnesty International UK, said: "We’ve always said that they shouldn’t be held a minute longer than necessary when they land back in the UK.


"They have already been held for three years, and upwards of three years in some cases."


Massoud Shadjareh, of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, said: "We are disappointed we’ve had to go through this terrible, pointless, stupid charade.


"I think the psychological impact of this pointless behaviour by the police is going to be felt not only be the detainees but the whole Muslim community."


A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Shortly before 9pm, four men arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 on 25 January were released without charge. This followed liaison between police and the Crown Prosecution Service."


Earlier, lawyers for the men had said the former detainees were "traumatised" and "had an air of unreality about them" after being tortured in prison.


Abbasi is alleged to have suffered a series of mental breakdowns and to have been repeatedly injected with an unknown substance by his US captors.


Gareth Peirce, who represents Begg, said she was appalled they had been held by anti-terrorist police.


All four flew into Britain on Tuesday night to be immediately arrested under section 41 of the Terrorism Act. Police could have detained them for up to 14 days but they were released after 24 hours.


Louise Christian, the lawyer for Abbasi and Mubanga, said the detainees’ families were "desperate" to be reunited with them, but had turned down the chance to see them earlier yesterday as a police officer would have been present.


She said: "They want to be reunited with their family members in private."


Ms Christian said she had advised her clients to refuse to answer questions because they were still traumatised. "I am very worried about them," she said.


She added that Abbasi was struggling to adjust to life outside the harsh conditions at Guantanamo.


"He told me that when they asked him if he wanted a hot drink he said no, he just wanted a glass of water. He was used to the situation where, in Guantanamo, when he asked for something he would be abused," she said.


Azmat Begg, the father of Moazzam, said he had hoped to see his son but was told by police "he doesn’t want to see me in the police station".


He added: "Possibly he is not in a position, health-wise, or is keeping his dignity."


Asked how Begg was, Ms Peirce said: "Better than you would expect after three years of torture."----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Detainees 'to sue US government'

From correspondents in London

January 27, 2005

TWO of the Britons who were freed from the US jail for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay will file a lawsuit against the US government over their treatment there, their lawyer said today.


Clive Stafford-Smith said his clients Moazzam Begg and Richard Belmar, who returned to Britain yesterday and were facing questioning under Britain's own anti-terrorism law, were the victims of torture.


"I guarantee they will sue the American government," Stafford-Smith said after visiting the London police station where they are being held with the two other Britons who were released yesterday.


But Stafford-Smith said they did not want money and any award given to them by a court would go to charity.


He said: "They want a simple apology. But I realise that sorry seems to be the hardest word for some governments these days."


All four had been kept in legal limbo as suspected terrorists at the US naval base on Cuba for up to three years, and released after extensive discussions between the British and US governments.


After reportedly pushing strongly in private for the men to be freed, the government of Prime Minister Tony Blair handed Washington a stiff rebuke in June.


Proposed military tribunals for some Guantanamo prisoners did not "offer sufficient guarantees of a fair trial in accordance with international standards", British Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith said.


The four were all arrested in Afghanistan or Pakistan, or had previously visited one or both of the countries, and US authorities have linked them to al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups.


However, the men's lawyers insist they are innocent, saying yesterday that they should be set free without delay after their alleged mistreatment in US custody.


Home Secretary Charles Clarke meanwhile announced yesterday that Britain would end a controversial policy of detaining foreign terror suspects without trial, replacing it with a series of "control orders".


Suspects, who would be kept in prison for the time being, would eventually be subject to sanctions such as curfews and electronic tagging instead, Clarke told parliament.

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