Thursday, 2 October 2014

Moazzam Begg - Wronged Man is free again

Moazzam Begg a native born British citizen, family man  of  Pakistani  descent, spent three years incarcenated  in  the most notorious detention centre created, Guantanamo Bay without being charged with any crime.
Arrested  in Pakistan in 2002  he was transferred  to Bangram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, where he suffered torture and witnessed U.S interrogators  beat an  innocents taxi driver to death, he would spend the   next three years in   very tortuous uncomfortable conditions.
Throughout this time, Begg , now 45 was repeatedly, deprived of legal rights, but after public outcry  was returned to Britain in 2005. Despite the indignation and suffering  he encountered, he did not lose his humility or dignity.
He went on to become a prominent human rights activist, writing  books, advocating on behalf of other prisoners of conscience, whilst campaigning against the so called war on terror, and working with survivors of abuse and mistreatment across the globe.
But constantly  he was harassed and intimidated,  marked out  because he was probably seen as one of Britains most prominent muslims. Well known  to muslims and non-muslims alike as  a representative of justice, truth and human rights in the face  of oppression , and injustice.
Last December  at Heathrow his passport was confiscated, and told it was not in the public interest to retain it, then later   he was arrested  for having allegedly travelled to Syria  to assist Syrian rebels in terrorist activities, but had not visited this land since December 2012 and this was to assist in humanitarian relief and support.It seems that he may have become a victim of the government again, because of his continuing  outspoken criticism  of the British governments conduct   during the War on terror. The arrest  of one of the Wests most prominent  Muslim critics certainly raised alarms with many.  Using dubious charges against dissidents  has  been a hallmark  post 9/11. Though these tactics are routinely condemned, they still  continue to be implemented,  showing us the crude  corrosive measures our governments use, which ultimately undermine the foundations of western freedoms.
After 4 months in Belmarsh, Londons Central Criminal Court acquitted him yesterday of all charges, prosecutors saying "  there is no longer a realistic prospect of conviction in this case.'"
"The more this continues, the more it's going to alienate people." Begg  said about his case. Campaigners are  now concerned that the governments new hardened line as spelled  out at their recent party conference  will result in  greater harassment and victimisation.
So  it comes that an innocent man, has been freed  for the second time in his life. Lets hope his voice can now be used again to speak out against injustice and to contribute to  our understanding of each other , and that the world knows now what was  always crystal clear -that this is an innocent man.
I am overjoyed by his release but outraged by the imprisonment itself.
Gareth Peirce Beggs solicitor said : "Moazzam Begg is a good and brave man. He is a rare individual who will talk to  everyone and listen to everyone, even to those he profoundly  disagrees. He has spent the near decade since he was released from the  the torture of Bagram and Guantanamo in attempting to wake the world up  to injustice  and to comprhehend its causes and effects. His intelligent  voice of reason and  intelligence is desperately  needed now. We are relieved he is free again."
Long may it be so.

Here is a link to CagePrisoners the human rights group founded by Moazzam Begg

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