CAGE  is delighted to announce that all seven charges against our Outreach Director Moazzam Begg have now been dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service due to lack of evidence.
CAGE has insisted from the outset that this was a politically motivated trial targeting CAGE  and Moazzam for his work on exposing complicity between the Asad regime and illegal torture and rendition in Syria.
This is the second time that a major Western country has held Moazzam Begg without trial and so serious questions must be asked about why this has been allowed to happen for a second time. CAGE calls for those responsible for his needless incarceration to be held to account.
Amandla Thomas-Johnson, spokesperson for CAGE,  said:
"Moazzam Begg and his family have suffered over the past 7 months not only because of his incarceration but also because of the financial sanctions imposed upon him, as a result of which his bank accounts (including joint accounts) were frozen or shut down. His wife was unable to pay her utility bills that were held in their joint names without receiving a license from the Treasury, and it became a criminal offence to even try and support his family with money and food during this period. Our thoughts are with his family and we share in the joy of receiving him home again."
“We call on the CPS to review all ongoing Syria-related terrorism trials to review the evidence and drop charges. We believe many of these trials and the campaigns against Muslim charities and individuals working in Syria are politically motivated fishing expeditions using the wide scope of terror laws and Prevent policy to criminalise Muslims.”
“We also ask that the British state reviews its policies of harassment intimidation and politically motivated prosecutions of Muslims involved in the Syria crisis.”
Mirza Begg, brother of Moazzam Begg, spoke to CAGE and said:
"We are just so happy to have Moazzam home with us in time for Eid."
"It is confusing why the British government would incarcerate him for such a long period if it didn't have sufficient evidence. But right now, we are just relieved that this 7 month ordeal can come to an end and Moazzam can be back with his family."
Gareth Pierce, Moazzam Begg’s lawyer, said in a statement released to CAGE:
“Moazzam Begg is a good and brave man. He is a rare individual who will talk to everyone and listen to everyone, even those with whom he profoundly disagrees. He has spent the near decade since he was released from the torture of Bagram and Guantanamo in attempting to wake the world up to injustice and to comprehend its causes and effects. His intelligent voice, of reason and tolerance, is desperately needed now. We are relieved he is free again to contribute to our understanding of each other.”
“There is nothing new that can have been discovered now that was not always crystal clear – that this is an innocent man.”
(Image courtesy of HarryFear on Twitter)
For more articles on Moazzam Begg and his case please see here.
See the letter to the press regarding Moazzam's treatment and the wider implications on British Muslims, signed by prominent Human Rights campaigners, here.
1. CAGE (formerly known as CagePrisoners) is an independent advocacy organisation that works to empower communities affected by the War on Terror and to highlight abuses of due process.
2. More information on this can be read here: http://cageuk.org/article/there-plot-shut-down-cage
3. CAGE spokespeople will be available for interview today
Contact: Mr Amandla Thomas-Johnson
Phone: +(44) 207 377 6700
27 Old Gloucester Street
(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.)