Today Home Secretary Sajid Javid told the Times that he would seek to prevent the return of British nationals detained in North East Syria, stating that “If you have supported terrorist organisations abroad I will not hesitate to prevent your return.”
The Home Secretary’s comments come as a report in the Telegraph suggests the United States is now planning to send British citizens held in Syria to Guantanamo Bay.
The Home Secretary’s stance contradicts the recommendations of the current Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill, and go against the advice of former MI6 Director Richard Barrett, who has called for these individuals return to the UK and warned that “If they are merely set free, or sent to a third country, then the risk of their doing further harm remains very real”.
Reprieve is calling for their return to face British justice where they are accused of crimes.
Reprieve Director Maya Foa said:
“The UK can’t outsource British justice to the murderous regime of Bashar al Assad, the death rows of Iraq, or the legal black hole that is Guantanamo Bay.
“Where British nationals detained in Syria are accused of committing crimes, they should be brought back to the UK to face trials in British courts – which try complex cases involving the most serious crimes every single day.
“All other options involve torture and the death penalty, which directly contradict long-held British values. Sending British citizens to the foreign policy disaster of Guantanamo Bay – where only 6 out of more than 700 people have ever been convicted – will not result in any meaningful justice.”