Socialist Worker

‘Do not allow them to destroy my son’s life’

Ashfaq Ahmad, father of Babar, speaks out against his son’s detention:

Issue No. 1914

‘I want you to know the truth about my son. Despite everything that has happened, all the lies and ridiculous allegations, I still believe justice will be done.

My family and I are living in a nightmare. You cannot imagine the pain and suffering that we are going through.

I ask you as a father not to allow the demonising of my son to destroy the life of an innocent man.

Do you really believe that a young lad from Tooting could possibly be planning an attack against an aircraft carrier of the navy of a superpower?

The evidence, we are all told, consists of an email in a chat room where he gives his full name and a screensaver of a ship. The same evidence could be brought against thousands of people in south London.

All Babar has to help him now is his 69 year old father, because his wife and mother are too distraught. I don’t know how long his mother will be able to cope.

Even though I am no match for the enormous resources of the US government, I will do my utmost to save my son.

Babar comes from an ordinary family. I came to this country in 1963 and worked as a civil servant for 22 years until I retired.

I have two boys and two girls. They were brought up here. They know no other country.

All our family’s houses, including Babar’s, were raided at 5am on 2 December 2003 by armed police.

Babar was brutally assaulted by police and his wife was handcuffed, and the houses were searched from top to bottom. He was kept in custody for seven days and then released without charge.

He still has not recovered from the mental and physical pain. He still has hallucinations, cannot sleep and is not the same cheerful person he was. The injuries that he received were extensive.

All the information now being disclosed has been with the police for over eight months.

If he was engaged in unlawfully raising funds for Afghanistan and Chechnya, and if the Americans think it is a terrorist crime in the US, then it must also be the same in Britain. So why doesn’t the government put him on trial here so we can all find out what the truth is?

Instead he is being handed over to the US government to be put through a kangaroo court which will rely on evidence gathered by the British police.

It does not make sense. If someone living in this country uses their computer to break into a US government computer system, they are charged and tried in this country.

After 22 years working in the civil service, I cannot even get a British jury made up of ordinary people to decide the fate of my son.

I never thought the day would come when I would regret my 40 years in this country. My son is being used as a scapegoat by Bush to boost his election prospects.

The Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four were framed by corrupt police. No one believed the Irish community and you will probably not believe me either. All I can say to you is that yesterday it was the Irish people, today it is Muslims and tomorrow it could be anyone.’

Send messages of support to Babar Ahmad, MX 5152, HMP Woodhill, Tattenhoe Street, Milton Keynes MK4 4DA

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