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PRESS RELEASE: Extradition of Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan A Disgrace to British Justice

PRESS RELEASE: FOR IMMEDIATE USE

Extradition of Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan A Disgrace to British Justice

Friday 5th October 2012

This afternoons decision by the High Court to extradite Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan is a disgrace to British Justice and a black stain that will remain for many years on the current Government. Conflating the various very different cases that were up for extradition the Government may believe that it has engaged on a successful media strategy but in return it has sown deep division and resentment amongst communities and made a mockery of our legal system.

The Independent revealed today that the “Metropolitan Police detectives agreed to nine separate requests from FBI agents to provide information on Babar Ahmad at a time when the case against the long-imprisoned terror suspect was collapsing because of a lack of evidence”. This prosecution hasbeen effectively outsourced to the United States.

Mohammad Shakir, spokesperson for the campaign said, “As these men are hurriedly taken to an American military airbase, under the cover of night, to be flown to a prison described as a “clean version of hell”, we would like to remind the government that we shall hold them totally responsible for any harm that may come to them.” Shakir further reiterated “Today we have seen the failure of our judiciary to hold the executive to account. This has been an entirely political deliberation by Justices Thomas and Ouseley. The way they have handled themselves over the last few days in court clearly showing disdain and a bias against clear evidence has been an embarrassment. They should hang their heads in shame.”

The We Are Babar Ahmad Campaign is calling on the government to behave responsibly and:

[1] Demand the US government give assurances that these men are not held in an ADX Florence type facility. There is no need for solitary confinement after having spent a collective 14 years in jail without trial to hold them a minute longer whilst they are preparing their defence and they should be allowed out on bail with a tag, if necessary, like Christopher Tappin.

[2] Ensure that if they are forced to plea bargain which is the way the US system is skewed irrespective of guilt or innocence, the British government will gain reassurances that they will serve any time back at home here in Britain.

[3] Invoke the amendments to the US-UK extradition treaty 2003, through a parliamentary vote making it impossible for a British citizen to ever again be extradited for offences they are alleged to have committed in the UK and for any country that accuses a British Citizen of a crime to provide prima facie evidence that is reviewed by a British Judge who must ensure its validity and applicability under British law before authorising an extradition request.

ENDS

Notes for Editors

1. The Independent Article can be seen here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/exclusive-police-secretly-handed-the-fbi-evidence-on-babar-ahmad-while-claiming-their-own-case-against-him-was-collapsing-due-to-lack-of-evidence-8199824.html

2. ‘We Are Babar Ahmad’ is a grassroots campaign working to support the families of Babar Ahmad, Gary McKinnon, Syed Talha Ahsan and Richard O Dwyer and to see a change in the UK-US Extradition Treaty 2003.

3. For more information please call 07708681014.

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PRESS RELEASE: Emergency Protest in support of Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan

PRESS RELEASE

Emergency Protest in support of Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th October 2012

Thursday 4th October 2012

The ‘We Are Babar Ahmad Campaign’ along with partner organisations, is holding a protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th October from 10am asking for an immediate stay of extradition for Syed Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmad.

As the Judges decide on representations from the lawyers of both men, it is important to note that their cases are very different from the others. Both are British Citizens accused of wrongdoing in Britain who have been held collectivey in maximum security prisons for 14 years without trial nor with any evidence being presented to them. The Home Affairs Select Committe which reviewed their cases has expressed grave concern. Boris Johnson, The Mayor of London has backed their right to be tried in Britain.

Dr Ismail Jalisi, speaking on behalf of ‘We Are Babar Ahmad’, said, “The extradition of these men to the United States must be stopped by the Home Secretary. The incarceration of these two men without trial and then carting them off to a country that does not need to provide any prima facie evidence even when it agrees that the allegations are based on actions that occurred here in Britain is quite frankly farcical.”

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) declared in July 2004 and December 2006, as did the UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith in September 2006, that there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to charge Babar Ahmad with any criminal offence in the UK. Since then in 2011 the CPS revealed for the first time that evidence had been sent to the US without ever having been reviewed by them. The Director of Public Prosecution has refused to prosecute the men despite being able to call on the Metropolitan Police to show them evidence that it deliberately witheld and sent straight to the United States.

As the Judges determine whether a stay of extradition should be granted to Babar and Talha the Shadow Justice Secretary, Sadiq Khan MP has backed the campaign saying “If there is evidence against them they should be tried in the UK”.

Partners for the protest include: Stop The War, Muslim Council of Britain, London Transport Region – RMT, Enough Coalition, IHRC, Cage Prisoners, British Muslim Initiative, Muslim Association of Britain, Friends of Al Aqsa, Islamic Forum Europe, Muslim Safety Forum, iEngage and MDUK.

ENDS

Notes for Editors

1. The protest will be held on Thursday October 4th 2012 and Friday October 5th 2012 outside the Royal Courts of Justice.

2. ‘We Are Babar Ahmad’ is a grassroots campaign working to support the families of Babar Ahmad, Gary McKinnon, Syed Talha Ahsan and Richard O Dwyer and to see a change in the UK-US Extradition Treaty 2003.

3. For more information please call 07708681014.

Emergency Protest outside Courts of Justice

Emergency Protest in support of Babar and Talha on Thursday and Friday. 
 
The case will round up tomorrow, with the verdict expected on Friday morning.
We are calling for all our supporters to join us tomorrow and Friday outside the Royal Court of Justice, from 10am in solidarity with the families and to send a message that the ruling is of significant public interest.
Address: Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
Tube: Holborn/Temple
 
Supported by:
We Are Babar Ahmad
Stop the War Coalition
Muslim Association of Britain
Islamic Forum Europe
RMT
Muslim Safety Forum
Enough Coalition
British Muslim Initiative
Friends of Al Aqsa
Muslim Council of Britain
IHRC
iEngage
Cageprisoners
MDUK

Coverage of British Justice for British Citizens demonstration infront of Downing Street

Here is a a round up of coverage of this weekend’s demonstration at Downing Street.

Al-Jazeera


BBC London


London Tonight

Dominic Raab on Sky News


Channel S

Muslim Council of Britain

Coverage of Meeting at the House of Commons

Here is a video roundup of the different speakers we had at the event at the House of Commons on 20th June.

Caroline Lucas MP

Zac Goldsmith MP

Isabella Sankey – Liberty

Sadiq Khan MP – Shadow Justice Minister

Gareth Pierce, Human Rights Lawyer

David Bermingham, One of the Natwest Three

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

John McDonnell MP

PRESS RELEASE: House of Commons Meeting – Stop The Extraditions Update

PRESS RELEASE

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.

ENDS

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 info@wearebabarahmad.org

PRESS RELEASE: House of Commons Meeting – Stop The Extraditions TODAY

We Are Babar Ahmad
“British Justice for British Citizens”
PRESS RELEASE
*House of Commons Meeting – Stop The Extraditions TODAY
Wednesday 20th June 6-8 pm Committee Room 10*
Wed 20 June 2012

The We Are Babar Ahmad Campaign along with John Hemming MP is hosting a meeting in the Houses of Parliament today asking for a stay of extradition for Gary McKinnon, Syed Talha Ahsan, Richard O Dwyer and Babar Ahmad. The meeting will be calling for them all to be tried here in Britain if there is any evidence against them and asking MPs to sign the Early Day Motion 128.

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 prision fighting extradition for eight and six years – like Babar and Talha – when there is no charge against them in the UK.”

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) declared in July 2004 and December 2006, as did the UK Attorney General Lord Goldsmith in September 2006, that there was ‘insufficient evidence’ to charge Babar Ahmad with any criminal offence in the UK. Since then in 2011 the CPS revealed for the first time that evidence had been sent to the US without ever having been reviewed by them. The CPS is being asked to conduct a judicial review and investigate why eveidence was sent to the United States without ever having been reviewed. Shadow Justice Secretary, Sadiq Khan MP has backed the campaign saying “If there is evidence against them they should be tried in the UK”.

Confirmed speakers for the meeting include John Hemming MP, Sadiq Khan MP, Zac Goldsmith MP, John McDonnell MP, Caroline Lucas MP, Isabella Sankey (Liberty), David Bermingham – one of the Nat West Three, Ashfaq Ahmad (Babar Ahmad’s father), Sir Iqbal Sacranie and Victoria Brittain.

ENDS

Notes for Editors
The meeting will be held on Wednesday 20th June 2012 in the Houses of Parliament, committee room 10.
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 information about event please contact Mohammad Shakir on 07708 681 014 or email info@wearebabarahmad.org