Thursday, 20 December 2007

Free The Guantanamo Three

Well Gordon has again tried to distance himself from some of the hopless unjust policies of detention withought trial in Guantaname Bay. However who can forget they were held illegally for 4.5 years. Can you imagine the fuss they would be making if we were holding without trial some residents of the USA?

The continued detainment and potential extradition of two of the so-called ‘Guantanamo Three’ was attacked as ‘immoral and unjust’ by a UK MEP at a demonstration outside the City of Westminster magistrates’ court this morning, where the men were being questioned.

Caroline Lucas, Green MEP for the South East, condemned the arrest and imprisonment of the Guantanamo releasees on their return from the US, and urged the Government to refuse possible Spanish calls to extradite Omar Deghayes and Jamil el-Banna.

Dr Lucas said: “Omar Deghayes, whose family live in Brighton, was unlawfully held captive at Guantanamo Bay, whilst friends and relatives were left completely in the dark about when he might return home. Thanks in large part to the efforts of his family and campaigners in Brighton, he has now been released by the US after a period of shocking incarceration.

“But despite being allowed to return to his home country, Omar is being kept in custody and threatened with extradition to Spain. There is no reason why the UK government should not release him immediately. The demand for extradition should be resisted at all costs.

Dr Lucas joined the campaign to free Mr Deghayes in 2006 and played an instrumental role in his release by coordinating a meeting between campaigners, MEPs and staff of US President George Bush in Brussels to present details of his case.

Dr Lucas said: “Every day Omar remained in Guantanamo was another day of his life lost to unlawful detention. The US has never charged him with a crime and the decision to release him merely vindicates his claims of innocence.

“Omar Deghayes, Jamil el-Banna and Abdenour Samuer aren’t just numbers on a list but men who have not been convicted of any crime and are still being held unlawfully. The US has seen it fit to release them, and so should we. A fundamental abuse of human rights has taken place and reparations, not punishment, should constitute the next step.

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