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Time is running out to stop extraditions

May 25, 2012


25th May 2012

“This is a crucial moment …Truly now it is worth one last push” was human rights solicitor Gareth Peirce’s call to action at a packed meeting held in London on 23rd May in support of Syed Talha Ahsan, Gary McKinnon, Richard O’Dwyer and Babar Ahmad, four young men awaiting extradition to the US because of an unfair Treaty that bypasses the British judicial system. Chaired by Bruce Kent, the meeting brought together a wide-ranging coalition of civil society groups, faith leaders and other well-wishers campaigning for justice, protection of human rights and reformation of the US-UK extradition treaty.

Journalist Victoria Brittain called for urgent political action so that Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan in particular are not handed over to US authorities – which may happen within six weeks – without ever having had the opportunity to defend themselves in a British court even after 8 years and 6 years detention without trial respectively.

The meeting was briefed of plans for a nation-wide day of protest to be organised on Saturday 23rd June. She urged those present to seek for face-to-face meetings with their local MPs to gain support for the Early Day Motion being presented in Parliament by Caroline Lucas MP (Greens) – see link below.

The families of Syed Talha Ahsan, Richard O’Dwyer and Babar Ahmad were present and a message of support was received from Gary McKinnon’s mother. There were further poignant moments when speakers read out the prison poems of Talha Ahsan. The lawyer Michael Ratner, President of the Centre for Constitutional Rights, participating via video link from New York, provided harrowing accounts of the ‘Special Administrative Measures’ (SAMs) applied to prisoners suspected of terrorism once within the US judicial system – a regime that included 23 out of 24 hours in solitary confinement.

Other contributors at the meeting included Father Joseph Ryan, Chair of the Justice & Peace Commission of Westminster Diocese; Isabella Sankey, Director of policy at Liberty; Riz Ahmed, musician and actor, who read out a poem by Talha Ahsan; David Bermingham, a former army officer, then banker (one of the NatWest 3) who was extradited and compelled to enter a plea bargain; Joshua Dratel, speaking from Chicago, US lawyer for Babar Ahmed, and involved too in the ECHR cases of him and Gary McKinnon and Richard O’Dwyer; Councillor Salma Yaqoob, Leader of the Respect party.

For further information contact: or call 07708681014

For EDM proposed by Caroline Lucas MP follow:
Images from the Event

From → Extradition

  1. Great webapp for asking your local MP to sign the early day motion on extradition. Just enter name & post code and edit the letter template.

  2. mohammed permalink

    glad to see these five murders will face justic.

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