Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday, 9 March 2004

Five British terrorism suspects return to the UK from Guantanamo

I have just been watching live pictures from RAF Northolt of the 'plane carrying five of the nine British suspects back to Britain. This is extremely welcome.

Now that these people are back in the UK they are apparently to be questioned by British security and police, but there is speculation they will not be charged with any crime. Whatever the truth it must be faced. If there are grounds to bring a chargeoable ofence against one or more of these men then I hope it happens quickly so they can be tried and, if convicted, punished appropriately. If, however, there are no charges which the Crown Prosecution Service believes will stand up in court, then they must be released forthwith. If we are to merit the title of democracy we should not be in the business of locking people up indefinitely just because we don't like the look of their faces or don't like their belief systems or politics. I am pretty confident that even our present Home Secretary will not be able to get away with such a brazen flouting of the basic principles of British (English or Scottish) law as a further prolonged detention of these poeple without trial.

The current US administration continues to operate outside the norms of civilised behaviour. It is clear that it is only the forthcoming presidential election there that has provoked them into even these few, and some other, releases. However, four Britons remain at Guantanamo within the overall total of some six hundred persons, all non-US citizens. All should either be charged and tried in the very near future, or released.

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