Page last updated at 05:46 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 06:46 UK

Terror raid men 'fit stereotype'

Police outside one of the raided properties
A property in Earle Road in Liverpool was searched in the raids

The lawyer for three men arrested in anti-terror raids said they were targeted as they fit the "terrorist" stereotype.

Solicitor Amjad Malik told BBC's Asian Network that the men felt discriminated against because they are Muslims and he says they are innocent.

He said: "Anybody who has a beard and goes to prayer cannot be considered a threat to national security."

The men held in Liverpool, Manchester and Clitheroe were not charged.

Of the 12 men arrested in the raids, 11 were Pakistani nationals, with 10 holding student visas. One was from Great Britain.

Deportation orders

Mr Malik, who was asked by Pakistan High Commission to represent the students, believes the government has been too quick to ask for their deportation.

He said he will help with the appeal against their deportation orders before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

He said: "The secretary of state has a huge responsibility to protect the public but will have to create a balance between the interest of individuals as well as the state."

Faced criticism

He said because no charges had been brought against the men they should be allowed to continue their studies.

Police faced criticism after prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to justify bringing any charges against the men.

Lord Carlile of Berriew QC will look at the case as part of his ongoing role as independent reviewer of terrorism laws.

Greater Manchester Chief Constable Peter Fahy, defended the arrests, saying he was not "embarrassed".

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