Socialist Worker

Babar Ahmad: ‘I dared to seek for the truth in a false world’

Babar Ahmad was arrested a month ago. He is in custody facing extradition to the US, where he faces Guantanamo-style "justice". Babar was first arrested in December when he was released after a week in custody. A doctor who e

Issue No. 1917

Dear Socialist Worker,

Thank you for your letter dated 11 August and a copy of your fine newspaper including articles covering my plight.

Thank you for the unbiased and fair manner in which your paper covered my case and encouraged your readers to write to me.

I have received over 150 letters to date, including several from your readers. I would like to thank all those who have written to me.

I am in prison today because I committed a crime.

But the crime I committed is not what I am being accused of.

The crime that I committed is that I dared to ask for answers in a silent world. I dared to seek justice in an unjust world and I dared to search for the truth in a false world.

The authorities could not accept that they had made a mistake by torturing me and insulting my religion.

They were too proud to apologise to me.

Instead they wanted to make an example out of me when the physical and emotional scars from my last ordeal have not even healed yet.

This is the “war on terror”. It is a situation in which innocent, law abiding members of the public are terrorised in order to satisfy some political ambitions.

I lived all my life in this country. I obeyed the law, I paid taxes, I ran for disabled children’s charities and I never usurped anyone’s rights.

In return for all this, they want to extradite me to the US, the country that invented Guantanamo Bay, Bagram and Abu Ghraib concentration camps.

They want to extradite me because I have not committed any “crime” that I can be charged with under British law. If this is not betrayal, then what is?

I am keeping company with murderers, armed robbers and drug dealers, who are all better off than me because they will serve fixed sentences and then be released.

Sometimes I ask myself, “Would I have been better off if I was an armed robber or drug dealer?”

At least then I would have been entitled to justice and more rights than being a law abiding British Muslim.

Justice and the protection of minorities are the pillars of a democracy.

When either of these pillars fall, the democracy crumbles into the dustbin of history.

Yesterday it was the Irish. Today it is the Muslims.

And tomorrow it will be the leftists, socialists, anti-war and anti-racism campaigners if this is allowed to continue.

As for myself, I never harmed anyone, or abused anyone, or took anyone’s rights, or committed any other crime.

Therefore I am confident that God will give me honour, justice and freedom one day, on the day that he wills.

If anyone wishes to help alleviate my plight, then perhaps they could write to their MP.

Ask him or her to write to the home secretary, David Blunkett, and ask him under which law a British citizen can be made to stand trial or be extradited to a country, a country infamous for human rights abuses, both at home and abroad.

Alternatively, you could write to the media to keep this issue in the spotlight.

I would also be grateful if you can give me a free subscription to your newspaper so I can read it myself and pass it round to other prisoners.

Thanks again, and keep up the good work.

British political prisoner Babar Ahmad, MX5383, HMP Woodhill, Tattenhoe Street, Milton Keynes MK4 4DA.

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Sat 4 Sep 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1917
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