PRESS RELEASE: House of Commons Meeting – Stop The Extraditions Update
House of Commons Meeting – Stop The Extraditions Update
Wednesday 20th June 2012 11.30pm
Parliamentarians, legal experts and human rights activists alongside the family members of Gary McKinnon, Syed Talha Ahsan, Richard O’Dwyer and Babar Ahmad gathered at the House of Commons to call for the stay of their extradition to the United States and the amendment of the lopsided Extradition Treaty 2003.
The meeting, chaired by John Hemming MP, was addressed by Caroline Lucas MP, Zac Goldsmith MP, John McDonnell MP, Shadow Justice Secretary Sadiq Khan MP, Yasmin Qureshi MP, Sir Iqbal Sacranie, David Bermingham of the “Natwest Three”, Isabella Sankey of Liberty, Ashfaq Ahmad – father of Babar Ahmad – and Victoria Brittain.
Caroline Lucas highlighted that “The aim is not, nor has it ever been, to pass judgement on the guilt or innocence of the men. It is to stand up for fairness and proper process.”
Sadiq Khan, the constituency MP for both Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan reaffirmed his support for justice in a British court for these two men and highlighted that the role of the Home Affairs Select Committee putting pressure on the Crown Prosecution Service to consider all evidence in both of these cases. “I believe that the Metropolitan Police should have passed all of the evidence onto the CPS, so that they could make a fully informed decision on whether to bring charges against Babar and Talha, before passing the evidence onto the American authorities. As a result of my representations and the evidence he heard [Keith Vaz] the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee has also now written to the Director of Public Prosecutions in regards to the amount of evidence considered in these cases.”
Victoria Brittain, speaking on behalf of We Are Babar Ahmad, said, “this campaign against the extradition of these four men to the US is more important than just an issue of respecting British sovereignty. It involves a fundamental moral issue: it is completely unacceptable than any man can be held in a UK high security prison fighting extradition for eight and six years – like Babar and Talha – when there is no charge against them in the UK.”
All the speakers called for the The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to review any evidence against Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan and try them in Britain.
The families of the men called on people across the UK to attend a protest opposite Downing street on Saturday 23 June at 1pm against the UK-US Extradition Treaty 2003.
Notes for Editors
The demonstration “We Are Babar Ahmad: British Justice for British Citizens” will be held on Saturday 23rd June 2012 opposite Downing Street at 1pm.
We Are Babar Ahmad is a grassroots campaign working to support the families and to see a change in the UK-US Extradition Treaty 2003.
Early Day Motion 128 regarding extradition is sponsored by Caroline Lucas can be found here.
For more images and more information about event please contact Mohammad Shakir on 07708 681 014 or email firstname.lastname@example.org