Anger as Britons Named for U.S. Terror
Fri July 4, 2003
09:44 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - Two Britons will be
among the first terror suspects to be tried by the United States,
Britain said on Friday, sparking outrage among relatives and human
rights groups who fear justice will not be done.
Britain's Foreign Office said Moazzam Begg and Feroz Abbasi were
among six prisoners at Camp X-ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, whom
President Bush designated on Thursday for military trial.
The news angered Begg's father Azmat. "I don't know why he has
been trapped," he told Sky News. "Our government has got to take
very serious steps toward his release. This military tribunal -- I
don't have any trust in it."
Senior U.S. defense officials have refused to give names or
nationalities of the six but said they had attended "terrorist"
training camps and may have been involved in financing Saudi-born
Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.
Human rights campaigners questioned whether they would receive a
"The U.S. Department of Defense will appoint the judges and
prosecutors, control the defense and make up the rules of the
trial," said Stephen Jakobi, Director of Fair Trials Abroad.
"We have got to the point where the hallmarks of the Cuban
exercise are those of a failed and cynical public relations stunt,"
A Foreign Office spokesman said: "This is the very beginning of
the process. They have only been designated at this stage. It is not
automatic that any person so designated will end up before a
The European Commission urged the United States to avoid applying
the death penalty to the six captives.