- The US pressed ahead yesterday with its controversial
policy of flying al-Qaida and Taliban prisoners from Afghanistan to a US
naval compound at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Another 30 detainees boarded a
transport plane bound for the island last night.
- Guarded by American troops with attack dogs, the men,
shackled and wearing taped-over ski goggles, shuffled in the darkness into
a C-17 plane at Kandahar airport. They wore surgical masks over their
and noses, because some had tested positive for tuberculosis, a military
- They will join 20 detainees, including a Briton and an
Australian, who arrived in Cuba on Friday. Hundreds are eventually to be
flown there from the Kandahar holding area.
- A marine spokesman, Lieutenant James Jarvis, said
of the detained suspects had gathered "lots of information ... some
of it actionable".
- The second shipment of detainees came as concern mounted
in Britain over the legal status and treatment of the prisoners.
- They are being described as "unlawful
by Washington, and as such are outside the remit of international law
fighters captured in conflicts .
- Because they are being held outside US sovereign
they are also denied the rights to a jury trial in independent courts
to "ordinary" criminals by the constitution. Washington has
that they will be tried by military tribunals.
- The Foreign Office said yesterday that the detainees'
legal status was a matter for the US. A spokeswoman said consular staff
would travel to Guantanamo Bay to establish the identity of the British
prisoner so relatives could be informed.
- Geoffrey Robertson QC, a human rights law expert, said
the US was breaking the Geneva convention.
- "The key thing is that as PoWs they are protected
from coercion and torture by the need to only provide name, rank and
At the moment they have no such protection."
- The Australian Broadcasting Corporation last night
extracts from a video allegedly showing al-Qaida militants rehearsing an
attack on world leaders at a golf tournament and on a motorcade in what
appeared to be Washington.
- The grainy video, in which it said Arab, Pakistani and
African fighters spoke English, was found by the Northern Alliance at a
training camp near Kabul after the Taliban fled.