Dead Men Left

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Three years


The last four British men held as terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay are on their way back to the UK, after almost three years in US custody...

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Danny Shaw said it was expected the men would be arrested by police and questioned when they arrive back in the UK.

It is understood police already had "lengthy dossiers" on each of the men compiled by agents from the UK's security service MI5 who had visited the men nine times at Guantanamo, he said.

He said some of the alleged evidence "may well have been obtained in circumstances not acceptable in courts here, perhaps under duress or perhaps from the battlefields in Afghanistan and so on".

Washington has alleged that all four men trained at camps run by al-Qaeda.

"...may well have been obtained in circumstances not acceptable in courts here..." is particularly fine. The courts, of late, have been showing what in these dangerous times must be an ill-placed concern for basic freedoms like the right to a fair trial. The government hasn't quite made clear yet how long it intends to illegally detain prisoners without trial; nor does it show much inclination to drop the ludicrous deportation attempt against Babar Ahmad. (See Stop Political Terror for more on his campaign. I say "ludicrous": this innocent man is facing indefinite detention in the US, quite probably in Guantanamo Bay.)