Thursday, 2 October 2014
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
Posted by teifidancer at 15:22