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World at One Monday, 5 August, 2002, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
British men charged in Egypt
Mosque in Cairo
The Islamic Liberation party is banned in many middle eastern countries
The Egyptian authorities have charged 26 people - including three British men - with membership of a banned Islamic party. They are accused of establishing a clandestine network, and possessing leaflets promoting the overthrow of the Government. They face a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.

At the heart of this case is the Islamic Liberation Party, or Hizb ut-Tahrir - banned in many Middle Eastern countries. The party denies being involved with terrorism or violence, though it does campaign for political change in the Muslim world. Its UK leader is Dr Imran Waheed, a Birmingham-based doctor.

The three were arrested on April 1st and their families claim they have been tortured by being blindfolded, handcuffed, subjected to electric shocks, and left on bare concrete floors in solitary confinement for days on end.

The three men awaiting trial in Egypt are believed to be members of the Islamic Liberation Party, but their families say that has nothing to do with their presence in Egypt. One, Maajid Nawaz, was on an exchange visit, and two - Reza Pankhurst and Ian Nesbitt - were part-time IT workers hoping to improve their Arabic. Mr Nesbitt's father speaks to the World at One.

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