Guantanamo film stars were held under terror laws, claims Murray

Guantanamo film stars were held under terror laws, claims Murray

Morning Star, 20 February 2006

Police arrested the stars of director Michael Winterbottom’s new film The Road to Guantanamo under the Prevention of Terrorism Act when they returned to Britain after winning a major award, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray said yesterday.

Mr Winterbottom had been showing the film at the Berlin Film Festival, where he won the best director award.

Mr Murray claimed that police arrested and interrogated three of the film’s stars on Friday, together with the three ex-Guantanamo detainees on whose story the film is based. They were held by Special Branch and questioned for several hours about where they had been and who they had met. Mr Murray also said that they had been questioned on Mr Winterbottom’s politics.

However, following legal intervention by human rights lawyer Gareth Peirce, the group were eventually released.

The Road to Guantanamo traces the true story of Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Ruhal Ahmed, three Muslim friends from Birmingham who were picked up as aliens in Afghanistan by US forces and ended up in Guantanamo for three years, where they suffered brutal and humiliating treatment.

Mr Murray said that people had been questioning his source for the story and, “particularly, querying why it is not in the mainstream media if it is true. “Well, I was in Mr Winterbottom’s office and heard it first hand, from people who were there when it happened,” he said.

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