Moazzam Begg launches campaign for return of British passport

1/21/2022 12:52 AM
Moazzam Begg, former Guantanamo Bay prisoner

Moazzam Begg, former Guantanamo Bay detainee, is launching a legal campaign for a judicial review calling for his British passport to be restored. He has launched a crowdfunding campaign, supported by the campaigning and advocacy group, CAGE, for the return of his right to a British passport, which has been denied to him for over eight years, in what CAGE describes as an “injustice, harassment and arbitrary decision”.

The group says that: “Moazzam’s work shines a light on state abuse and raises uncomfortable questions about government complicity in torture and violations of our basic rights. The removal of his passport therefore is a clear attempt to silence dissent and prevent him from conducting his cutting edge investigations.”

Moazzam spoke recently to Islam Channel’s Mohammad Shoaib and Jamil Hussein on their podcast “Guantanamo Bay at 20” about his time as a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, sharing a moving and thought-provoking first-hand account of his experiences and his insights into its lasting effects. The detention camp, which he describes as a ‘symbol of injustice and Islamophobia’ is still in operation twenty years after it first opened.

Despite his not having been charged with any crime, Moazzam’s passport has been removed from him a total of three times, the first of which was on his return from Guantanamo Bay in 2005. It was seized again in 2013 and returned in September 2021, only to be followed by a letter warning that its use would be considered a criminal offence.

CAGE is launching a legal challenge to call for its return: "Moazzam is a well-known and respected community leader who has been actively holding the government to account. As a consequence, he has been deliberately targeted by the state with a range of sanctions. This passport removal is the latest in a string of tactics to apply pressure and remove him from his role. He will not be silenced and his passport must be returned to him."

Moazzam also appeared on Islam Channel’s The Review: 9/11 Special Report into the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks two decades on. Watch the discussion, hosted by Aaqil Ahmed here.