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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Belmarsh - Britain's Guantanamo Bay?

Will Julian Assange end up here? RT @wikileaks: J Assange case has been moved to the "terrorism" court at Belmarsh Jan 11, 2011

You don't have to go to Cuba to find terror suspects controversially imprisoned. Nine foreigners have been held in London's Belmarsh Prison for almost three years without charge or trial. So is it the UK's Guantanamo Bay?

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In December 2001 nine foreign nationals were removed from their families by police and taken to Belmarsh Prison in south east London. They have been held there ever since and still do not know why.

The detainees are unable to see the intelligence evidence against them and are confined to their cells for up to 22 hours a day. Their solicitors say they have been "entombed in concrete".

The men are being held under anti-terror laws bought in following September 11, which allow the home secretary to detain without trial foreign nationals he suspects of terrorism, but cannot deport because it would endanger their life.

To date a total of 17 foreigners have been detained, 11 of whom are still being held - mainly in Belmarsh. It has prompted human rights organisations to brand it "a Guantanamo in our own back yard".

'Faceless people'

"The similarities are striking and appalling," says human rights organisation Liberty.
"The lack of rights afforded to the men in both places undermines fundamental civil liberties."

BBC News | Oct 6, 2004 - Read full report :