Moazzam Begg a Political Prisoner Again 70

I first met Moazzam Begg in 2005 when he came to support my campaign in Blackburn against Jack Straw.  I was immediately struck by how gentle he is.  For somebody who has been through Guantanamo Bay and suffered torture and injustice, he is free of bitterness and rancour to a degree I find quite astonishing.  It is an extraordinary spiritual quality, comparable to that of Nelson Mandela.  He does not hate.  That impression has only been reinforced every time I see him, and comes over well in his book.

What the British state did to me for opposing their torture programme was bad enough, but nothing to what Moazzam suffered.  Yet he is much less embittered than I am.

The fall of Libya further revealed the terrible truth about the extraordinary rendition programme and undeniable evidence of British complicity in torture.  This included of course the appalling case of the Belhadj family, orchestrated by criminal torturers Jack Straw and Sir Mark Allen.  As Assad’s Syria was even more involved than Libya in the extraordinary rendition programme as a supplier of torture for the UK and US intelligence services, Moazzam sensibly concluded that evidence may now be available there to be recovered from the chaos.  He has been to Syria to that end.

Last week my friend Ray McGovern called on Moazzam and discussed Syria.  Ray briefed me on the conversation, and Moazzam’s take was one of great regret at the bloodshed and despair at the ferocity of inter-Muslim rifts.  It was the opposite of violent partisanship to support one side.

Moazzam Begg has not been arrested for terrorism in Syria.  He has been arrested to stop him digging for further evidence of complicity in torture by senior politicians and civil servants in the UK.

70 thoughts on “Moazzam Begg a Political Prisoner Again

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  • mark golding

    Full text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013


    The website of The Washington Post revealed on June 7, 2013, that the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were tapping directly into the central servers of some Internet companies, and users’ data, extracting their emails, chats, audio and video data, documents and photos in real time, and putting certain targets and their contacts under full surveillance. According to a government document disclosed by The New York Times on September 29, 2013, the NSA, since November 2010, had been exploiting its huge collections of U.S. citizens’ data to identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions, and other personal information. The scrutiny program, which links U.S. citizens’ phone numbers and e-mails in a “contact chain”, exposed large amount of citizens’ privacy to the government. The website of the Guardian, a British newspaper, revealed on June 6, 2013, that one of the largest U.S. telecommunications providers, the Verizon Business Network Services Inc, was required to provide to the NSA all the telephony metadata within its system, including telephone numbers, locations and call durations. Germany’s Spiegel Online reported on September 7, 2013, that internal NSA documents showed that the U.S. intelligence has the capability of tapping user data from the iphone, devices using Android as well as BlackBerry, a system previously believed to be highly secure. The NSA developed cracking programs and tapped users’ data held on the three major smart phone operating systems, including contact lists, SMS traffic, and location information about where a user has been. The NSA is able to infiltrate the computer a person uses to sync their iphone, and the script programs enable additional access to at least 38 iphone features.

  • doug scorgie

    Will Moazzam Begg get this treatment?

    “A Chinese dissident convicted of murder after an Old Bailey trial held in secret has lost his attempt to present his whole defence case to the European court of human rights.”

    “The decision comes as potentially significant new evidence has emerged – a potential new witness – as a result of a Guardian report on the case last month.”

    “His defence case was held in camera on the grounds of “national security” and the media were barred from reporting it or even speculating on what it might be.”

    In his written judgment published , Mr Justice Ouseley, the original trial judge, declined to vary the gagging order.

    “The judgment states: “I acknowledge that a court should not stand in the way of what an applicant wishes to place before Strasbourg, unless there is very good reason to do so. I have no doubt that there are very good reasons to do so in this case.” He added that “the protected interests included national security and the protection of the identity of a witness or other person”.

  • Mary

    Doug. Thanks for that news which I had not heard. No wonder the Palestinians are enraged. It will leave East Jerusalem wide open for the Israelis to steal what remains of Palestinian homes and property and build more of their housing.

    I have just re-read this moving interview with Hedy Epstein, now an old lady but still going strong.

    She is an amazing person. She supported the Free Gaza movement and was sorry that she never made a voyage. I was told by an American friend today that ‘We talked for over an hour yesterday, and she is getting ready for another trip to Germany where she has several speaking engagements. She has lost much of the sight in one eye, but is doing amazingly well, and nothing seems to hold her down for long. She probably wouldn’t consider herself frail, but rather unsinkable. Of course she has never got over her disappointment at not being on our boats to Gaza, and has tried several times since then to make it there, side by side with me.’

    Do spare time to read it.

    June 13, 2007
    An Interview with Hedy Epstein
    “I Was Not Prepared for the Horrors I Saw”
    Hedy Epstein, 82, was born in Germany in 1924(1). She was the only child of parents who died in the Nazi extermination camps. She is a tireless worker for human rights and for the dignity of all people.

    Hedy decided to visit Palestine in 2003. She returned terribly shocked with what she had seen there, women and children defenceless, Palestinians locked up into ghettos, an entire people brutalized.

    She had learned to love the people that she met, and was determined to tell the world of the injustices she had seen. Palestinians were being dispossessed of their land, removed from the homes that they had lived in for centuries. Nothing that anyone has done, no protests that have been made, has made Israel stop its treatment of the Palestinians. In fact, it has become worse every time Hedy has returned.


    Note the ‘smudging’ of her story here ref the strip search.

    I had been reminded of Hedy’s experience when I read this today.

    Palestinian Teacher Strip-Searched Before Flying with Her Jewish Students
    Friday February 28, 2014

  • BrianFujisan

    We…. many, of us Knew they would Dave…it’s an unrelenting Evil Game they are playing… I’m so Ashamed… it’s just out of control now….

    i found John Goss’s Sentiment, that he wants his country back to pre 9/11 kind of heart breaking…. the crimes and deaths – ONGOING – that 9/11 has led to.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Was hoping to see some mention of what happened to British whistleblowers outside of prison, like David Kelly, Gareth Williams, GMP Chief Constable Mike Todd, etc, but didn’t see any.

    Perhaps the authorities are doing Begg a favor, especially if he is on to who murdered them.

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