On their return to England last week following a triumphant stay in Berlin, four actors who appeared in Michael Winterbottom's The Road to Guantánamo and two of those whose lives were depicted in the film were detained at the Lutton airport under anti-terrorist laws. According to Rizwan Ahmed, one of the film's stars, he was questioned in a way that suggested his detainment had more to do with his appearance in a controversial film than anything else. The policewoman interrogating him allegedly "asked...whether [he] intended to do more documentary films, specifically more political ones like The Road to Guantánamo. She asked 'Did you become an actor mainly to do films like this, to publicize the struggles of Muslims?'" Ahmed further reported that he was sworn at by police, denied a lawyer, and "had a telephone wrestled from his hand" when he tried to contact one.

A spokesman for the police insisted that the six were briefly detained (they were held for less than an hour, and none were arrested) and questioned under the "counter-terrorism act," which "allows [law-enforcement] to stop and examine people if something happens that might be suspicious." What was "suspicious" was not addressed - surely it had nothing to do with the political film in which the men were all involved. Perhaps the police at Lutton regularly stop anyone of Middle Eastern decent who dares to travel through their airport.

[via GreenCine Daily]