Dozens of people were protesting today outside West Midlands Police HQ calling for the release of Moazzam Begg.
- Video of a statement read out on behalf of Moazzam Begg's daughter.
The former Guantanamo detainee was remanded into custody at Westminster Magistrates Court earlier today after being charged with Syria-related offences.
Police closed Snow Hill Queensway and part of Colmore Circus in Birmingham as a safety precaution while protestors gathered outside police headquarters Lloyd House.
Chief Superintendent Ron Winch, from West Midlands Police, said: “We are aware of a protest taking place in the city centre around lunchtime today.
"The right to protest peacefully is a sign of democracy and we have a duty to facilitate that.
"Over the last few days, we’ve been talking to our local communities to understand how many people are likely to attend so we can make sure the event passes safely and securely.
"We don’t anticipate any disruption to transport and shops and attractions in Birmingham city centre are open as usual.”
Begg, 45, of Boden Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, denied the charges put to him today and will appear next at the Old Bailey on March 14. He is accused of providing terrorist training and funding terrorism overseas.
Begg appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court alongside a woman, Gerrie Tahari, 44, of Ashway, Sparkbrook, Birmingham, who is charged with facilitating terrorism overseas.
She denied the charge and was also remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on the same day as Begg.
Both were arrested on Tuesday.
Two other men arrested the same day remain in police custody. They are a 36-year-old man from Shirley, Solihull, and a 20-year-old man - the son of Tahari - from Sparkhill, Birmingham, who were held on suspicion of facilitating terrorism overseas.
Begg was held in the US-run military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for nearly three years.
He moved to Afghanistan with his family in 2001 before taking them to Pakistan in 2002 when the war began.
He was detained in Islamabad, Pakistan, as an "enemy combatant" in January 2002 and was taken to the Bagram internment centre for about a year before being transferred to Guantanamo.
He was released along with three others in January 2005 and was allowed to return to the UK.
Begg placed his hand on his heart as he walked into the dock, smiling towards supporters and his legal representatives.
He spoke to correct the court clerk when she asked if he was Mohammed Begg, giving his proper name, and also to confirm his address, plead not guilty and confirm he understood about his next appearance.
Begg is charged that between July 14 and August 8 2013 he became concerned in an arrangement as a result of which money or other property was to be made available to another person, knowing or having reasonable cause to suspect that it would be or might be used for the purposes of terrorism, and that between October 9 2012 and April 9 2013, he provided instruction or training knowing the person receiving it intended to use the skills for or in connection with preparation of acts of terrorism.
Tahari is charged that between December 31 2011 and November 6 2013 she became concerned in an arrangement as a result of which money or other property was to be made available to another person, knowing or having reasonable cause to suspect that would be or might be used for the purposes of terrorism.Subscribe to our Newsletter