[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 September, 2003, 14:23 GMT 15:23 UK
Emotional appeal from detainee's father
Azmat Begg
Azmat Begg's son has been in detention for more than 18 months
The father of one of the British detainees in Guantanamo Bay has made an emotional appeal for the release of his son.

Azmat Begg broke down in tears as he addressed the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton.

Mr Begg urged the US to release his son from the Camp Delta base in Cuba to face justice in the UK.

Moazzam Begg is one of nine Britons being held at Camp Delta.

I just want my son back. I do not say set him free, what I say is let him come back to this country he belongs to, where he was born, where he was brought up
Azmat Begg
His father, a Liberal Democrat, was addressing the conference during debates on foreign affairs.

He said his son should be punished if found guilty, but said he could not understand "under what law, under what human rights he has been kept there".

He said: "I just want my son back. I do not say set him free, what I say is let him come back to this country he belongs to, where he was born, where he was brought up.

"Keep him there behind bars, let him feel that he is back...

"If he is fit then justice should be done to him, if he's found guilty he should be punished.

"If he isn't found guilty he shouldn't be there for a second. Why is this not happening what is wrong with our laws?"

Call backed

Moazzam Begg, from Sparkbrook in Birmingham, was held by US forces in Pakistan in February 2002. He was transferred to Guantanamo Bay a year later.

The conference backed a call to the government to deliver "due process and justice" for those held at Guantanamo Bay.

Home affairs spokesman Simon Hughes said: "Fair trials are the cornerstone of any true justice system and an essential guarantee of liberty. America has long been the beacon of liberty.

"But the US cannot hope to win hearts and minds in Iraq, Afghanistan and anywhere else if it continues to deny fundamental rights to the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

"Who will stand up for American values if Americans do not?"


RELATED BBCi LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific