On October 11, 2011 – the Director of British civil rights group Cageprisoners, British-born Moazzam Begg (born in 1968), was denied entry to Canada at Montreal’s airport. Begg arrived at the airport from Paris on Air France flight. However, Canadian border guards refused to let him step outside the airport on the lame excuse that his name is on a US no-fly list and that he served prison sentence at Guantanamo concentration camp for allegedly an Al-Qaeda member.
Moazzam Begg was returning from a fact finding tour of Tunisia and Libya. He was scheduled to address some gatherings about his three-year (2002-2005) experience as a Guantanamo inmate. He also intended to talk to the defense lawyers for the child inmate at Guantanamo, Canada-born Omar Khadr, who is rumoured to be handed-over to Canadian authorities soon for prosecution. Omar was captured by US collaborators, Northern alliance, at the age of 15 – and has been kept inside the notorious Guantanamo Camp since 2001.
Moazzam Begg who was held in US custody for three years with no charge – was released in 2005 from Guantanamo Camp under British government’s pressure. Six months ago, Begg was barred from boarding an Air Canada flight from London to Toronto. He was invited by Omar Khadr’s defense attorney, Dennis Edney, to speak at a conference on Fear and Justice in Toronto, Quebec and Edmonton.
Begg is the most high profile advocate for the people currently imprisoned at the Guantanamo concentration camp. He is also author of book, Enemy Combatant: A British Muslim’s Journey To Guantanamo and Back. He has given many interviews and lectures, written articles, and appeared as a commentator on BBC’s Panorama, BBC’s Newsnight, PBS’s The Prisoner, Al-Jazeera’s Prisoner, Taking Liberties, Torturing Democracy, and National Geographic’s Guantanamo’s Secrets, traveling throughout the world to do so.
So far, Begg, has not been denied entry by any country other than the US, Canada and Israel.