3 freed from Egypt jail queried on return to UK

March 1, 2006 19:13


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Three British Muslims, released nearly four years after their arrest in Egypt, flew back to London on Wednesday and were questioned by anti-terrorist detectives, their lawyer said. Attorney Stephen Jacobi said Ian Malcolm Nisbet, Maajid Nawaz and Reza Pankhurst were interviewed by members of the intelligence-gathering police Special Branch after landing at Heathrow Airport. The three men, all in their late 20s, were released earlier Wednesday from an Egyptian prison. They were arrested in April 2002 and convicted in March 2004 on charges of membership in the Islamic fundamentalist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, or the Liberation Party, which the Egyptian government banned in 1974. The three had been accused of attempting to revive the Islamic fundamentalist group, and had no right to appeal the verdict, as they were convicted and sentenced by a security court. They were part of a group of 26 people, nearly all Egyptians, who were sentenced to prison terms of one to five years. All were convicted of trying to revive the banned group and for possessing propaganda leaflets. Amnesty International had condemned the convictions.

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