by Democracy Now –
(March 9th, 2004) — Five British detainees held for two years at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as terrorism suspects are due to return home today. The men — whose release was announced last month — are likely to be set free after being questioned by anti-terror police in the UK.
The return of the remaining four British prisoners in Guantanamo is much less likely. British Home Secretary David Blunkett indicated for the first time this week that the four would probably face trial in the US
Blunkett, who is on a trip to the US said the remaining four were different because they had been arrested “in the combat zone” in Afghanistan and that evidence against them would be “best used in the US not in Britain.” Two of them are among a small group designated for trial before military tribunal.
For over two years more than 650 people have been detained in a legal black hole at Guantánamo Bay. They have been denied contact with their families, access to a lawyer, and the right to a hearing to determine their legal status.
Yesterday European families of the detainees traveled to Washington to denounce the treatment of their relatives and to urge President Bush to respect their legal rights.
The Guantanamo Human Rights Commission, made up of family members and supporters of the detainees, had hoped to meet with President Bush, but instead had to settle for a march to the White House.
Among the family members was British citizen Terry Waite, who was held captive for almost five years by Islamic militants in Lebanon and has likened his experience to those of the Guanatanmo prisoners as well as actors Corin and Vanessa Redgrave.
The Guantanamo Human Rights Commission marched on the White House this week to denounce the treatment of Guantanamo prisoners and to urge President Bush to respect their legal rights.
Oscar-winning actress and longtime activist Vanessa Redgrave spoke with Democracy Now before traveling to Washington with the Guantanamo Human Rights Commission.
During her acting career that spanned some 47 years she has served as UN goodwill ambassador and was a founding member of International Artists Against Racism. To hear the interview, go to: