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Last Updated: Friday, 26 December, 2003, 08:00 GMT
Wife condemns Egypt UK detentions
Ian Nisbett, left, and Maajid Nawaz are led into a Cairo court
The wife of one of three Britons accused in Egypt of trying to revive an Islamic group has told BBC News of her anger at the handling of their case.

The men had expected to learn their fate at Egypt's Emergency High State Security Court on Thursday but their case was adjourned until 25 March.

Maajid Nawaz, of Essex, and Londoners Ian Nisbet and Reza Pankhurst say they were tortured into signing confessions.

Mr Pankhurst's wife, Hodan, said there was no reason for the adjournment.

"It is yet another form of pressure, of abuse and of punishment for a group of innocent people who are not guilty of any crime," she said.

"We would have been waiting for this verdict for eight months by March unnecessarily so where is the justice?

"It is very disappointing."

There was never any law passed to ban this group
Hodan Pankhurst

The Britons, along with 23 Egyptians, are accused of trying to revive an Islamic Liberation Party, Hizb-ut-Tahrir.

The Britons, who are all married with children, were seized in a post 11 September crackdown and accused of promoting aims - including the overthrow of the Egyptian government.

The prosecution says Hizb-ut-Tahrir was banned in 1974 following an attempted coup.

But Mrs Pankhurst told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "There was never any law passed to ban this group."

The legality of the court and the emergency laws used to detain the men were being contested, she added.

The men had been denied access to lawyers, independent doctors and Amnesty International, Mrs Pankhurst told Today.

Sign confessions

Mr Nawaz's wife Rabia, said: "We have tried all avenues of action to bring this injustice to an end and I think this further delay is proof, if anyone needs it, that the Egyptian judicial process is not there to secure justice but to legitimise the tyranny and corruption of the Egyptian Government.

"This whole process of delay is punishment in itself."

The Britons claim they were forced to sign confessions which they could not read in October of last year.

Their families have demanded the cases against them are thrown out of court.

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