Socialist Worker

Court rules that nightmare must go on for Babar Ahmad in US extradition case

by Anindya Bhattacharyya
Issue No. 2298

The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday of this week that British terrorism suspects wanted by the US can be extradited there.

The ruling is a blow to Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan, British citizens who have been held in jail without trial for years fighting US extradition attempts.

Babar’s family said they were “very disappointed” by the decision. “British justice appears to have been subcontracted to the US,” they said in a statement.

Refusal

The Free Babar Ahmad campaign is now focusing on the refusal of British authorities to prosecute Babar in Britain. This is despite the fact that the evidence used to demand his extradition was seized by British authorities.

In 2006 the attorney general claimed there was “insufficient evidence” to prosecute Babar in Britain.

It has since transpired that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had not even seen all the evidence handed over to the US by British authorities.

Babar’s family said, “There has been a serious abuse of process with the police completely mishandling the evidence seized from Babar’s home by sending it to the US before the CPS could take a view on it.”

Babar was arrested in 2004 under extradition arrangements brought in under the “war on terror”.

These allow the US to demand “fast track” extradition on the flimsiest of pretexts, without the accused being allowed to challenge evidence in a British court.

The European Court case revolved around possible human rights violations were the extradited men to be held in solitary confinement.

The court ruled that conditions at the Colorado jail the US uses for people convicted of terrorism offences “would not amount to ill-treatment”.

Both Tory and New Labour governments have been happy to do the US’s bidding over these cases. Home secretary Theresa May welcomed the judgement, declaring that she would “work to ensure that the suspects are handed over to the US authorities as quickly as possible”.

For more information go to www.freebabarahmad.com


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