Shocking Detention of Mahmoud Abu Rideh

1st October 2007 – This is a press release of the shocking detention of Mahmoud Abu Rideh:

Now he harms himself, he says, out of frustration when people are racist or when he goes into a “dark time” experiencing flashbacks of his torture. “I drink shampoo, I drink air freshener, I drink toilet cleaner,” he said. “Every week I try something. It’s better than being here. The staff don’t want me here. They hit me and the patients hit me. What I have been through in this place is worse than when I was detained in Israel when I was tortured. They have destroyed me.”

[Mahmoud Abu Rideh speaking about his time in Broadmoor High Security Hospital]

A reputable source has brought to the attention of the Muslim Prisoner Support Group, that Mahmoud Abu Rideh, who epitomises the hundreds of innocent people who have become entangled in the War on Terror, has been arrested and is once again being detained in Belmarsh High Security Prison. This has now been confirmed by his solicitor.

He was placed in Belmarsh on Friday 28th September 2007; the exact reason for his detention is unknown, though we have been told he has breach a part of his control order.

For those of you who may be familiar with his story; Mahmoud Abu Rideh, a Jordanian National of Palestinian decent arrived in the UK in 1995 and was granted asylum in 1997, on the basis of being a victim of torture whilst imprisoned in Israel.

He was amongst the first people to be detained without charge or trial under the Anti Terrorism, Crime and Security Act after it was passed in December 2001. He was detained in both Belmarsh High Security Prison & Broadmoor High Security Hospital for a combined period of three and a half years. He was like many others eventually released without any charge, a victim of the new SIAC legislation in which a mere suspect can be indefinitely detained, on the basis of ‘secret evidence’ which is not made available to the accused or even to their legal representatives. Following his eventual release he was like many others placed on a Control Order, which included Electronic tagging, a 12 hour Curfew, having to Report to monitoring company, Home Office vetting visitors, Limits on visits to others, Home being searched at any time, No internet access, One bank account and No cash transfers outside UK.

Being placed under a Tag and being only allowed out of his home between the hours of 7am to 7pm, being on a 12 hour curfew. All visitors had to be vetted by the Home Office and Security Services. His home would be randomly searched and he on a daily basis he had to report to the local police station.

Psychiatric reports, and various interviews paint a grim picture to say the least on the effects his detention had on him. He has a significant history of self harm, he has on occasion drunk detergents and has even set him self on fire.

The decision to send him back to Belmarsh is even more bizarre as previously a Mental Health Tribunal ruled that he was mentally ill and that both his mental and physical health would rapidly deteriorate if he was returned to Belmarsh.

We therefore urge all persons to write to the home secretary and demand an explanation as to why the government continue to harass and torture a man who despite the untold level of unfair treatment he has received – remains uncharged of any crime.

For further information on how to help his case, please contact The Muslim Prisoner Support Group:



Post: Muslim Prisoner Support Group P.O BOX 6001, LONDON, SW15, UK

Phone: 020 8876 1375/07960 076099


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