Phil Shiner has developed the practice to attract top ranking lawyers in the areas of human rights and administrative and public law through acting for Gurkha soldiers facing discrimination in the British army and in relation to the conduct of British troops in post-occupation Iraq. He has dealt with international law issues through, for example, representing CND in a judicial review challenging the Government's decision to go to war and instructing barristers on the legality of the Mutual Defence Agreement between the US and UK. Cageprisoners spoke to him about his British clients detained in Iraq, the abuse of Iraqis by British troops and the legality of the war.
Returning from Guantanamo Bay, Airat Vakhitov has been persecuted by the Russian authorities despite continually proving that there is no case against him over suspected terrorism. His story, related in this Cageprisoners interview, is one of complete rejection from every single community he has encountered. Having first been picked up by the Taliban government as a Russian spy, he was later handed over to the Americans who having put him through torture sent him to Guantanamo Bay where he was continually abused. Now that he is back in Russia, life for Airat has not improved at all. However, despite all the rejection and persecution he has faced, he still stands up for his right to live a free man.
Since March 2003 Majid Khan was among those being held by the US in secret detention after it was suggested that he was an Al Qaeda operative. In late 2006 Majid was one of 14 ‘High-Value Detainees’ moved from secret detention to Guantanamo Bay to face processing through the Military Commissions established by President Bush.
While on a research mission to Pakistan in late 2006, Asim Qureshi (Cageprisoners) and Zachary Katznelson (Reprieve) met with the wife of Majid Khan, Rabia Yaqoob, to learn how her husband had ended up in Guantanamo Bay. The following interview is that of a wife and a mother who on just getting to know her husband, had him snatched away before she really knew what it meant to be married.
With the disappearance of her husband in 2005, Amina Masood Janjua has become the face of the disappearances in Pakistan. Spearheading the organisation, Defence for Human Rights, she has campaigned unrelentingly in her aim to see not only the release of her husband, but also the release of all the other men who have been caught by the indiscriminate detention policies of the Pakistani intelligence services. Speaking to Asim Qureshi of Cageprisoners and Zachary Katznelson of Reprieve, she goes through a telling tale of the way the detentions have affected the lives of so many.
Lieutenant Colonel Yvonne Bradley is military counsel for Binyam Mohammed, she speaks to Cageprisoners about the situation of her client and the difficulties he has been facing.
"We have decided to free all the people imprisoned for their ideas, their beliefs or for having expressed dissenting opinions," Tunisian Prime Minster, Mohammed Ghannouchi. New words of hope for Tunisia's political prisoners.
Abou Elkassim Britel is an Italian citizen of Moroccan ethnicity, married to an Italian convert to Islam. On 10th March 2002, whilst in Lahore translating books on Islam, he was detained on a false passport charge, and subsequently interrogated and tortured by Pakistani security services. Transferred to Islamabad to be questioned by US intelligence agents, he was prevented from contacting the Italian embassy to prove the authenticity of his passport. On 24th May 2002, he was rendered to Morocco (with the co-operation of the Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs), where he was detained incommunicado in Témara by the Moroccan secret service until February 2003. Released without charge and granted a border pass by Italian Embassy, he was again arrested on 16th May 2003 to the frontier before the bomb attacks in Casablanca. He was brought to Témara in secret detention for other 4 months. Condemned to fifteen years in jail, his sentence was reduced to nine years on appeal. Despite the European Parliament having solicited the Italian government to obtain his immediate release, he remains incarcerated in the Äin Bourja prison of Casablanca, where he is to be released in 2012. Cageprisoners spoke exclusively to Britel’s wife, Khadija Anna Lucia Pighizzni, about her husband’s plight and her fight for justice.
Mohammed Mrabet Fahsi, a Moroccan by birth, was granted British residency in 2005. He is married to a British convert to Islam, whom he met in Spain, and together they have three children. Mr Fahsi was a member of his local Mosque in the Spanish town of Vilanova i la Geltru, which worked in close cooperation with the town council. He was arrested in a night raid by Spanish Civil Guard on 10th January 2006. He was then taken for interrogation in Madrid for four days, where he was subject to torture by Spanish security forces. He is currently detained without trial at Mansilla de La Mullas prison near León.
After having been imprisoned illegally and tortured in the notorious Fara’ Falastin prison in Syria, Mohamed Hamid has been detained in Denmark as part of efforts of the Danish authorities to make public examples of being tough of terror. Having been found innocent of any crime in Syria, the Danish authorities are unable to bring a case against Mohamed and he now faces deportation to Iraq. Cageprisoners speaks to Um Hadigah, the wife of Mohamed Hamid, explaining her worries and the complexities of the case.
Born in Ottawa on April 14th 1979, Mohammad Momin Khawaja graduated from Algonquin College in computer software development. He was an active member of his community, teaching Qur’anic recitation, Mathematics, and Islamic history to the youth at his local Mosque in Cumberland, Ontario. Following a three-month trip to Pakistan, Khawaja began working for the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Summer 2002 as a software programmer. On March 29th 2004, he was detained, along with four family members, in an armed raid on their Canadian home. Since his arrest four years ago, and despite having been charged, Khawaja has not been tried or been shown the allegedly incriminating evidence held against him. Having been denied bail on two occasions, he is currently incarcerated in the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre. In this exclusive interview, Cageprisoners spoke to his father, Mahboob Khawaja, about the case.
Teaching Poetry to Prisoners – with Talha Ahsan’s Poetry Tutor Pat Winslow & Mike Marqusee
Response to the government report: "Tackling extremism in the UK"
Extradition and Guantanamos at home : Injustice & Talha Ahsan
Forgotten Women of the "war on terror"
More Syria-related police raids but no evidence of threat to UK
The prevent strategy: a cradle to grave police-state
Julian Assange: 'it's not just the Muslims'
CAGE releases new report on government counter-terorrism excesses
CAGE letter published in Evening Standard newspaper
Citizenship: a right or a privilege?
One after the other: Niqab, segregation and now the cartoon controversy