World Bulletin / News Desk
Moazzem Begg, a high-profile British human rights campaigner who was released without charge from the Guantanamo Bay U.S. military prison in Cuba in 2005, has said that his recent arrest in the UK was "malicious and vindictive."
The former Guantanamo detainee had been held for seven months in British custody on charges of facilitating terrorism and possession of a document likely to be of use to a terrorist, only to be released after charges were dropped due to a lack of evidence last week.
Begg, a vocal critic of British foreign policy, said he had been in Syria as part of research into cases of illegal rendition and torture involving Britain's security services, including the MI5’s alleged role in the rendition of a Libyan man from Syria to one of Muammar Gaddafi’s prisons.
Cage, a group set up by Begg which campaigns for the rights of people detained during counter-terrorism operations, had argued his arrest in March was politically motivated.
Despite not being sure why he was arrested and charged, Begg told The Guardian he suspects the explanation probably embraces incompetence, Islamophobia, maliciousness and fear.
One possibility is that there are some within the British state who simply wish to silence dissent “from those parts of the population [where] they would expect weakness and fear and apprehension," he said.
Speaking to The Guardian, Begg went on the say that he actually feels cheated by the prosecutors’ decision to abandon the case against him as he wanted his "day in court."
“I wanted my day in court; I was spoiling for the fight. I wanted to challenge every allegation in the case against me. I believe that if I had put my case before a jury I would have been acquitted,” he said.
Begg also criticized the British authorities for confiscating the passports of British citizens who had gone to fight in Syria and had returned, saying that they pose no threat to the UK and that the reason why they had returned was because they were dismayed with the likes of the hostile ISIL militant group.
“People returned specifically because they did not want to be part of that … they wanted to come back," he explained.
“In Denmark and Germany they are not arresting returnees from Syria. We need to find another way. Not to take young men, some as young as 19, and put them away for 15 years because they made a misjudgment about the way the British government would view them,” he added.Last Mod: 04 Ekim 2014, 16:11