Families Deliver Eid Card to Downing Street Expressing Opposition to Deportations
Press Release from Deportees Family Campaign
The families of the 10 men detained on the 11th August 2005 pending deportation to Algeria and Jordan, including eight previously interned without charge under anti-terrorism laws, delivered a card to the Prime Minister today on the Muslim festival of Eid carrying a message opposing the deportation and torture of their relatives. The Eid card was signed by 1000s of people over the month of Ramadan. .
They were joined by Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, Zareena Mustafa of the Deportees Family Campaign and Bruce Kent, leading peace and justice campaigner.
Josephine, wife of one of the deportees read out a short a short statement on behalf of the families.
The government is attempting to deport the men on the basis of 'assurances' that the men will not be tortured on their return to countries such as Algeria and Jordan. These countries are notorious for their use systematic torture and extrajudicial killings. These assurances or 'Memoranda of Understanding' have faced widespread criticism from human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Liberty and circumvent international law including Article 3 of the European convention of human rights.
Mrs G, whose husband is currently on bail under house arrest conditions said
"This is a day when Muslims worldwide come together as one family. Our families have been torn apart, our children are left without their fathers - we want to use this day to remind everybody of what is happening to our loved ones".
Gareth Peirce (the families lawyer) said
"For many years the government has stated that each man will be tortured or killed if returned to his country of origin and yet it has entered into arrangements for their immediate return with those same regimes whose torture chambers are actively used still on a daily basis.
We claim to restrict the trade in armament with known torturers but yet are prepared to entrust to those regimes that most precious commodity of all, human life.
Their families know with certainty that the imprisonment of their men folk here has become imprisonment on death row".
Note to Editors:
The Deportees Family Campaign (DFC) was set up by the families of the men detained pending deportation to countries including Jordan, Algeria and Lebanon, where they face the threat of torture and death. The campaign was set up to raise awareness of their plight and to stop their deportations, which are illegal under international law.
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