In Edinburgh High Court last week, Mohammed Atif Siddique, a 21 year old Scottish born Muslim student, was sentenced to eight years in prison for terrorism offences.
Known as Atif, the young man from Alva, Clackmannanshire, was convicted on 17 September
of offences under theTerrorism Acts 2000 and 2006 for possessing and distributing information related to terrorism on the Internet.
“Atif maintains his innocence and we will be marking an appeal on his behalf,” said his solicitor, Aamer Anwar.
Civil liberties campaigners have expressed disappointment at the lengthy sentence for Atif when he never possessed any weapons or explosives or had any specific plans to commit terrorism.
“Even the BBC has classed this case as potentially a case of ‘thought crime’,” says Strathclyde University media expert David Miller.
“There is an establishment witchhunt against any form of dissent on British foreign policy. It is important that democrats stand up for freedom of speech,” he says.