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Friday, 18 October, 2002, 18:30 GMT 19:30 UK
Fear for Londoners on trial in Egypt
Alistair and Humera Nisbet
Mr Nisbet's family have just returned from Cairo
The wife of one of three men accused of plotting to overthrow the Egyptian government fears he will not get a fair trial.

IT consultant Ian Nisbet, 28, internet expert Reza Pankhurst, 27 and Maajid Nawaz 24, a student at London's School of Oriental and African Studies, will go on trial in Cairo on Sunday.

They are accused of being members of the banned Islamic Liberation Party, Hizb ut-Tahrir. All three protest their innocence.

But Mr Nisbet's wife Humera, from Upton Park, east London, said she had received no assurances from the Egyptian authorities that the men would get a fair trial.


We know Ian was forced to watch other prisoners being tortured and to listen to them screaming

Alistair Nisbet

She told BBC London: "The detention has been unfair, the arrest was unfair - how can we expect a fair trial?"

Mr Nisbet's family say he had been out in Cairo to learn Arabic and took his young family with him.

His father Alistair has just returned from Egypt where he visited his son in a high-security jail and confirmed reports that the men were initially poorly treated.

He said: "We know Ian was forced to watch other prisoners being tortured and to listen to them screaming and to finish this all off they were made to sign documents that they had not read.

Ian Nisbet
Mr Nisbet had gone to Cairo to learn Arabic

"They had no idea what they were putting in there but they were being threatened that their families would be harmed if they did not sign."

On Sunday they will learn for the first time the evidence against them and lawyers will be able to start preparing their defence.

Membership in the Islamic Liberation Group is legal in the UK but outlawed in most Middle Eastern countries.

Egyptian authorities blame it for an attempted coup in 1974 and involvement in terrorist operations.

The proceedings in Egypt's State Security Court in Cairo will also include 23 Egyptian nationals on similar charges.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC London's Kurt Barling
"His parents confirm reports that the men were initially poorly treated."

Click here to go to BBC London Online
See also:

17 Oct 02 | England
04 Oct 02 | England
05 Aug 02 | World at One
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