A Sussex MP is to fly to Washington to demand justice for Guantanamo prisoner Omar Deghayes.

Des Turner, Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown, said he would lobby representatives of the US Government about the continued detention of Mr Deghayes, from Brighton, later this month during a visit to the city with a Commons committee.

Save Omar activists welcomed the move, and said it could only help the campaign - backed by The Argus - to secure justice for Mr Deghayes.

In March, fellow British resident prisoner Bisher al-Rawi was released after MP Ed Davey petitioned for his release in Washington.

Mr Deghayes, a Saltdean law student and Libyan national, has been imprisoned without charge in the notorious detention centre in Cuba since he was arrested in Pakistan in 2002.

His supporters want him to be returned to Britain rather than Libya, where his life would be in danger.

Dr Turner told The Argus: "I am going to Washington with the Science and Technology Select Committee as part of an investigation into marine science and I will be extending my stay to meet officials from the State Department and defence department on Friday May 25.

"I want some indication as to what category of prisoner Omar is regarded as being. If he is a serious threat he should be put on trial. If not, he should be released, provided the UK is prepared to receive him. This would put the onus back on the Home Office."

Louise Purbrick of the Save Omar campaign said: "Everyone in Save Omar wishes Dr Turner the very best of luck with making Omar's case in Washington.

"We understand it may not bring immediate success but every action we can take on behalf of Omar is worth making."

She said campaigners would also be pressing Chancellor Gordon Brown on the issue after he said at the weekend he was aware of Mr Deghayes' detention.

In an appearance at the Brighton Dome concert hall on Sunday as part of the Brighton Festival, the prime minister-in-waiting was asked by former Brighton and Hove City Councillor Francis Tonks for an assurance that Mr Deghayes and a handful of other former British residents held in "intolerable conditions" in Guantanamo would be put on trial or released.

Mr Brown replied: "I know what you are talking about. I understand what you are saying and I will look into it."

Ms Purbrick said: "We want to follow this up and ask him exactly what he wants to do. He recognised it was an important issue locally and if he wants to secure the marginal seats in this city he has to listen.

"He talked a lot about courage and we must hope he has the courage to do a little more than Blair did, which was to fall back on bureaucratic excuses to do nothing."

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