Statement of support for Moazzam Begg

We, the undersigned, show our support and solidarity for the former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Moazzam Begg, who has been arrested over allegations of terrorism. Until the allegations are tested and challenged in a court of law we reiterate the fundamental right of all to presumption of innocence.

Our experience with Moazzam Begg has been in his role as one of the foremost advocates against the abuses taking place in Guantanamo Bay, and as part of the wider programme of unlawful detentions and complicity in torture.

Moazzam has worked tirelessly with CAGE and other human rights organisations in order to work for the settlement of Guantanamo Bay detainees to third party countries.

For now we call upon the police to be vigilant in how Moazzam is treated in detention given the trauma he was subjected to while detained at Guantanamo Bay.

We extend our support to his family as well as his colleagues at CAGE.


Muhammad Rabbani  Managing Director, CAGE

Asim Qureshi   Director, Catalyst Worldwide Consulting

Sir Geoffrey Bindman  Human Rights lawyer and Founder of Bindmans LLP

Victoria Brittain Journalist and author of Shadow Lives: The Forgotten Women of the War on Terror

Clive Stafford-Smith  Director, Reprieve

Clare Algar   Executive Director, Reprieve

Cori Cryder   Strategic Director of Abuses in Counter Terrorism, Reprieve

Polly Rossdale    Deputy Director of Abuses in Counter Terrorism, Reprieve

Major Todd Peirce   Former US military attorney

Cheryl Bormann  Attorney for Guantanamo Bay detainee

Captain Michael Schwartz US Military attorney

Lt Cmd Kevin Bogucki  US Military attorney

Jim Harrington   Attorney for Guantanamo Bay detainee

Sami El-Haj Manager of Public Liberties and Human Rights, Al Jazeera and Former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Qatar

Jarallah al-Marri  Former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Qatar

Tarek Dergoul    Former Guantanamo Bay detainee, UK

Omar Deghayes  Former Guantanamo Bay detainee, UK

Bisher al-Rawi   Former Guantanamo Bay detainee, UK

Phil Shiner    Principal, Public Interest Lawyers

Mourad Dhina   Executive Director, Al Karama

Frances Webber   Vice-chair, Institute of Race Relations

Terry Holdbrooks   Former Guantanamo Bay guard

Prof Bill Bowering   Barrister and Lecturer at Birkbeck University of London

Prof Laleh Khalili  Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies

Prof David Miller  Professor at the University of Bath

Saghir Hussain   Solicitor, HMA Solicitors

Eeva Heikkila   Barrister, 9 Bedford Row

Toby Cadman   Barrister, 9 Bedford Row

Christopher Stanley  Legal Officer, Rights Watch UK

Daniel Carey   Solicitor, Deighton Peirce Glynn

Dr Ruth Blakely   Co-Director, The Rendition Project and University of Kent

Dr Sam Raphael  Co-Director, The Rendition Project and Kingston University

Carla Ferstman   Director, Redress

Dr Scharlette Holdman  Mitigation specialist

Dr Nisha Kapoor  Lecturer, University of York

Dr Anas al Tikriti  CEO, The Cordoba Foundation

Dilower Khan   President, Islamic Forum of Europe

Russell Fraser    Solicitor, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

Malachy Killbride   Witness Against Torture

Wendy Pettifer   Solicitor, Hackney Law Centre

Paul Heron    Solicitor, Public Interest Lawyers

Cianan Good   Solicitor, Public Interest Lawyers

Adriana Edmeades  Paralegal, Public Interest Lawyers

Beth Shiner   Trainee solicitor, Public Interest Lawyers

Emily McFadden   Trainee solicitor, Public Interest Lawyers

Leisha Shiner   Paralegal, Public Interest Lawyers

Paul McNab   Practice Manager, Public Interest Lawyers

Estella Schmid   Campaign Against Criminalising Communties (CAMPACC)

Les Levidow   Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC)

Anne Gray   Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC)

Patrick Carty   Justice Watch, Ireland

Coleen Rowley   Tackling Torture at the Top

Sonja Johnson   Tackling Torture at the Top

Gary King   Tackling Torture at the Top

Thomas Dickinson  Tackling Torture at the Top

Mike Madden   Tackling Torture at the Top

Lindsey German   Stop the War Coalition

Abdullah Hasan   UKIM Masjid Khadija IADA

Azad Ali   Muslim Safety Forum

Dr Omer El-Hamdoon   Muslim Association of Britain

Sharhabeel Lone   Kentish Town Community Organisation

Dr Uthman Lateef   Khateeb & Researcher

Mohammad Sawalha   President, British Muslim Initiative, UK

Mohammed Kozbar   Islam Expo

Saleem Kidwai, OBE   Muslim Council of Wales

Mrs Firdous Arif   Muslim Women’s Association UK

Dr Sheikh Hojjat Ramzy   Oxford Islamic Information Centre

Muhammad Jinani   Young Muslim Organisation UK

Sister Helen Prejean   Author of ‘Dead Man Walking’ and internationally known Social Activist

Rizwan Sabir   University of Bath, UK

John McLoughlin   UNISON

Bob Pitt   Editor, Islamophobia Watch

Abdullah Faliq   Chair, Enough Coalition Against Islamophobia

Fareena Alam   Social Activist

Professor Richard Jackson   The National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, NZ

Arun Kundnani   Author of ‘The Muslims are Coming’ and ‘End of Tolerance’, US

Imam Shakeel Begg   Imam, Lewisham Islamic Centre, UK

Abdur Raheem Green   Co-Founder, Islamic Education and Research Academy, UK

Yusuf Chambers   Co-Founder, Islamic Education and Research Academy, UK

Saqib Sattar   Vice-Chairman,Islamic Education and Research Academy, UK

Saleem Chagtai   Islamic Education and Research Academy, UK

Hamza Andreas Tzortzis   Islamic Education and Research Academy, UK

Abdullah al-Andalusi   Spokesman, Muslim Debate Initiative, UK

Shaykh Abu Abdissalaam   Islamic Scholar, UK

Shaykh Shafiur Rahman   Islamic Scholar, UK

Shaykh Suliman Ghani   Islamic Scholar, UK

Shaykh Shams Muhammad   Islamic Scholar, Khalifa Foundation, UK

Zahed Ahmed   Khalil Foundation, UK

Imam Wasim Kempson   Imam, Al-Muntada al-Islami, UK

Omar Ali   President, FOSIS, UK

Ibrahim Ali   Vice-President of Student Affairs, FOSIS, UK

Mohammed Kozbar   Director, Finsbury Park Mosque, UK

Tafazal Mohammad   Managing Director, Muslim Youth Skills, UK

Arzu Merali   Islamic Human Rights Commission

Baher Azmy   Centre for Constitutional Rights, USA

Wells Dixon   Centre for Constitutional Rights, USA

Omar Farah   Centre for Constitutional Rights, USA

Shane Kadidal   Centre for Constitutional Rights, USA

Pardiss Kebriaei   Centre for Constitutional Rights, USA

Ben Hayes   Statewatch

John Pilger   Investigative Journalist

Mark Steel   Comedian

Joy Hurcombe   Chair, Save Shaker Aamer Campaign

Farooq Murad   Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain

Supporters from South Africa 

Feroze Ahmed Boda (Advocate), Yusuf Dockrat (Advocate), Shabnem Mayet (Advocate), Yusuf Ismail (Attorney), Yousha Tayob (Attorney), Afzal Mosam (Advocate), Zaheer Adam (Attorney), Ziyad Patel (Attorney), Farhana Ismail (Attorney), Nasser Tayob (Attorney), Nadeem Mohammed (Attorney), Afzal Abba (Attorney), Ridwaan Boda (Attorney), Nazmeera Cassim (Psychiatrist), Muhammad Kajee (Advocate), Shehnaaz Rawat (Advocate), Ahmed Cajee (Advocate), Hassen Kajee (Advocate)

Statement of support from Terry Holdbrooks, former Guantanamo Bay guard


I will always be grateful that Moazzam was in GTMO when I was there.  He worked as an intermediary for the guards and detainees and continually helped keep the peace.  His ability to reason with the most hate filled, brainwashed and socially inept of guards was a valuable asset for everyone.  It would not matter if the guard was an outright white supremacist, Moazzam could reason with them, and in doing so, he helped to keep the peace in an environment prone to unpleasant circumstances.

Being that Moazzam was a peace keeper, he was someone I could always rely on for conversation, as well as information.  Moazzam was forthright in sharing with me much of the intelligence the Army had not, and in doing so, he genuinely opened my eyes to the reality of what was going on in GTMO.  People like Moazzam, and many others, helped me to see the grave mistake that the “war on terror”  is, as well as showed me the sincere beauty in Islam, which the Army had told me was an inherent evil in the world.

It could be argued that Moazzam is a charismatic speaker and manipulator, but I would have to reply with what wrongs has he committed?  America smacked him in the face and labelled him for the rest of his life, and he returned the deed with devoting his life to helping those who are in need.  Americans seem to talk about the reverence they hold for Jesus, how he always turned the other cheek and then Americans themselves seem to be incapable of doing the same.  Moazzam was more of an American in mind and spirit than the individuals who were working in GTMO.  He is a representation of freedom, honesty, wisdom, and diligence.  I can only pray that this farce the UK is currently perpetrating against him ends quickly, with peace.

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)