Wednesday, 5 March 2014

éirígí call for the release of Moazzam Begg

Moazzam BeggRúnaí Ginearálta éirígí Breandán Mac Cionnaith has hit out at the arrest and detention by British police of the well-known activist and former Guantanamo detainee, Moazzam Begg.

In a statement Mac Cionnaith said, “As a spokesperson for the prisoner rights organisation, CAGE, Moazzam Begg has appeared regularly in the media and at various venues in Britain and other countries, speaking on issues pertaining to the Muslim community, imprisonment without trial, torture and ‘anti-terror’ legislation.

“Moazzam has also spoken at many public events in Ireland in recent years and his contributions and insightful thinking have been warmly received. I’ve had the privilege of speaking along with Moazzam Begg at a human rights symposium in London some time ago entitled ‘Policing Communities: Race, Class and the State’.

“His own experiences of being interned without charge in both Bagram Camp and Guantanamo for three years before his unconditional release have given him a unique first-hand experience of the massive injustices which have been engendered around the world as part of the so-called ‘war on terror’.”

Mac Cionnaith added, “It is extremely disturbing to learn that his arrest and detention on Tuesday by British police and secret intelligence services has been timed to coincide with the planned publication of a major CAGE report on Syria.

“Given Moazzam Begg’s ability to expose British complicity in major human rights breaches in various countries, one has to ask if his arrest is a pre-emptive attempt by the British state to discredit or even prevent publication of that report which is expected to be highly critical of Britain’s role in Syria.

“éirígí fully supports the call made by CAGE and by other groups for the immediate release of Moazzam Begg. We urge all those who seek to defend civil liberties and human rights to add their voices to that demand.”

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