Ahead of a demonstration in solidarity with the arrested Moazzam Begg which hundreds are predicted to attend tomorrow. West Midland police have been visiting Mosques attempting to discourage Muslims from attending the protest. The protest is called by CAGE (an independent advocacy organisation working to empower communities impacted by the War on Terror) Birmingham Trades Council, Stop the War Coalition and is supported by Moazzam Begg’s family.
Naeem Malik one of the protests organisers said “I know West Midlands Police is attempting tonight to persuade various community and mosque leaders in Birmingham to dissuade Muslims from attending the protest. This is a very serious infringement of our democratic rights and an unacceptable use of our places of worship for political purposes.”
“These Police forces would not dare visit Church leaders to try and persuade their congregation from attending demonstrations. Yet they think Mosques can be threatened in this manner to dissuade their congregation from exercising their right to protest against injustice.”
“It is imperative that as many of us turn up on Saturday outside Lloyds House in solidarity with those arrested under anti-terror laws.”
The demonstration is in support of Moazzam Begg a former Guantanamo Bay detainee. Since his detention he he has been a prominent campaigner for due process & human rights.
The police state the arrest is due to Syria related terrorism although Mozzam’s supporters state he has been involved humanitarian aid to the victims of the Syrian crisis and the police are trying to criminalise all travel to Syria. Begg has already suffered over three years of torture and abuse by the US government with the support of the of the British security services – without any trial or any guilt established. Now it seems he going to put through more suffering for his advocacy work since his release from Guantanamo.
The protest organisers want to make a broader point about the abuse of the anti terror laws Naeem Malik said “Over 70,000 individuals have been stopped under Section 7 of the Anti-Terror laws.This has to stop. We were able to bring down the spy cameras around our communicabilities and the West Midlands Police was forced to apologize to our communities publicly. We must ensure these arrests of our communities are stopped.”
The protest will start at Midday tomorrow outside West-midland Police Headquarters at Lloyd House in the city center.