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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 July, 2003, 11:25 GMT 12:25 UK
'Free my son' from Guantanamo
Moazzam Begg and Feroz Abbasi
Moazzam Begg and Feroz Abbasi will not face the death penalty
The mother of one of the British terror suspects held by the US at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba has begged for his safe return to Britain.

Her son, Feroz Abbasi, has been at Camp Delta for 18 months and Zumrati Juma says it is "distressing" that she has not heard from him since February.

She wants Britain's Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith QC, to negotiate with the American authorities for the return of Mr Abbasi to Britain, where he could be tried.

Lord Goldsmith recently visited the US, where he secured an assurance that the nine Britons held at the military base would not face the death penalty.

I personally don't think that the military commission is going to be a fair trial
Zumrati Juma
Law Society President Peter Williamson called on Thursday for the British suspects to either be tried in a US civil court, with safeguards for a fair trial, or be repatriated and tried in the UK.

However, the American authorities propose a system of military commissions in which US officials would appoint defence lawyers, with the cases heard by military judges.

Mrs Juma, a nurse from south London, told a press conference on Thursday: "I personally don't think that the military commission is going to be a fair trial simply because, if Feroz is tried in Guantanamo Bay, he will have to serve his sentence in Guantanamo Bay".

Also attending that press conference was Amzat Begg, whose son, Moazzam, from Birmingham, was detained by the CIA in Pakistan last February.

Shafiq Rasul, 24, of Tipton, West Midlands
Asif Iqbal, 20, of Tipton
Ruhal Ahmed, 20, of Tipton
Martin Mubanga, 29, from north London
Jamal Udeen, 35, from Manchester
Richard Belmar, 23, from London
Tarek Dergoul, 24, from east London
Moazzam Begg, 35, from Birmingham
Feroz Abbasi, 23, from south London

He was then taken to Afghanistan and held there for one year without access to consular staff before being shipped to Camp Delta.

Moazzam Begg's family insist that he has been a victim of mistaken identity.

His father previously said that Lord Goldsmith's recent trip to the US had brought no news as far as he was concerned, because he had already been assured that his son would not be executed.

And he said that life imprisonment for Moazzam was "more or less the same as the death penalty" anyway.

He said all the Britons held at the Cuba camp should be brought to the UK.

"They should give him proper human rights and after this has satisfied the family and the doctors they should be tried at home," Mr Begg said.

Louise Christian, a solicitor for Feroz Abbasi, is also opposed to the military commissions, as proposed by the American authorities.

She said: "What we're going to be seeing if this goes ahead is those incarcerated in Guantanamo Bay without any access to a lawyer being placed on trial before judges who will be wearing the same uniform as those who have been keeping them in custody."

She revealed that Mr Abbasi had requested a Muslim lawyer to represent him and that her company had delegated a partner, Sadiq Khan.

However, US military trial rules mean that Mr Khan will not be able to represent his client because he is not a US citizen.

Meanwhile, at his annual news conference the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf, said he supported the government's efforts to ensure the detainees at Guantanemo Bay get a fair trial.

The BBC's Bridget Kendall
"Britain's Attourney General has won one concession from the Americans"

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