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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 October, 2004, 01:04 GMT 02:04 UK
Tutu in anti-Guantanamo theatre
By Jeremy Cooke
BBC, New York

Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Tutu will answer audience questions after the show
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is to appear in a New York off-Broadway play highly critical of the US handling of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

He will take part in two productions of "Guantanamo - honour-bound to defend freedom", over the weekend.

He will play Lord Justice Steyn, a judge who questions the legal justification of the detention regime.

Once a leading campaigner against apartheid, Archbishop Tutu is a vocal critic of the Guantanamo system.

Now he is taking the unusual step of agreeing to take part in a play which portrays the plight of the British nationals being held without trial along with hundreds of others suspected of being linked with terror organisations including al-Qaeda.

After each performance, Archbishop Tutu will participate in a question and answer session with the audience.

The play, which has drawn warm reviews from New York critics, is a damning indictment of the Bush administration's policies.

Archbishop Tutu's involvement comes at a highly sensitive political time with the US presidential election now just weeks away.

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