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Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK
Terror suspects urge UK to intervene
Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
The men are imprisoned in Cuba
Lawyers acting for two British al-Qaeda suspects being held in Cuba are going to the Court of Appeal to force the UK Government to intervene.

Feroz Abbasi, 22, and 24-year-old Shafiq Rasul are being held at a US naval base in Guantanamo Bay with five other Britons on suspicion of having links with the Taleban.

 Feroz Abbasi
Briton Feroz Abbasi is among those suspects being held in Cuba

Families for Mr Abbasi, from Croydon, south London, and Mr Rasul, from Tipton, West Midlands, argue the British government is not doing enough to them.

The Court of Appeal hearing comes after a High Court decision not to get involved in the case of Mr Abbasi's case was overturned.

At the time, the judge said British courts did not have the power to hear the case.

Denied representation

Mr Abbasi's mother, Zumrati Juma from Croydon, is said to be concerned about the mental state of her son who has been held at the camp since January.

Mr Abbasi and Mr Rasul are among the group of Britons at the Cuban base who have been denied legal representation and have not been formally charged or told how they will be tried.

Shafiq Rasul
Shafiq Rasul was supposed to be in Pakistan

Ms Juma has said she is sceptical of US claims her son is dangerous, and baffled as to why he has been neither charged nor released.

Nicholas Blake QC is presenting Mr Abbasi's case and Mr Rasul's case is being presented by solicitor Gareth Pierce.

They will argue that the UK Government has a duty to take an independent view about whether the detention of the British citizens is arbitrary and in breach of international law.

'Detained indefinitely'

Mr Abbasi's case, which is expected to last two days, is being heard by the Master of the Rolls, Lord Phillips, Lord Justice Waller and Mr Justice Carnwath.

Louise Christian, Mr Abbasi's solicitor, said: "The US courts have declined jurisdiction and my client has now been in detention nine months.

"There appears to be every chance that he could be detained indefinitely without trial or access to any court or to a lawyer for the rest of his life unless the British government takes the matter up with the US and says that it is not prepared to have British citizens treated in this way."

A judgement on the case is expected to be made at a later date.

The US transferred terror suspects held in makeshift cells at its naval base Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay to a permanent, walled facility Camp Delta in April.


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21 Jan 02 | Politics
27 Feb 02 | Americas
27 Jan 02 | England
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