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Protest group calls Bush invitation an outrage

By Claire McNeilly and David Young

Human rights protesters have urged Northern Ireland's politicians to tackle US President George Bush on the issue of prisoner treatment.

Amnesty International staged a demonstration in the city centre yesterday to voice their concerns about the detention of terror suspects without trial at Guantanamo Bay and the transfer of prisoners to other countries for interrogation, known as extraordinary rendition.

Further protests are expected today to coincide with his arrival in Northern Ireland, with police notified of two separate events.

The Bush Not Welcome group, which represents in excess of 100 people, have organised a protest at Stormont scheduled for 2.30pm.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, group spokesman Paddy Meehan said it was an outrage for Northern Ireland's politicians to have invited the US leader to the province: "Bush Not Welcome opposes Bush's legacy in Iraq, his environmental crimes and his anti-worker policies," said Mr Meehan.

"And we're very angry the Assembly has invited him."

Another demonstration, under the auspices of the Belfast Anti-War Movement has been planned at the City Hall at 12.30pm, ahead of Bush's Belfast visit.

Amnesty has written to Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness asking them to raise the concerns when they talk to Mr Bush at Stormont.

Belfast Telegraph

From Belfast Telegraph