Socialist Worker

Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan lose final extradition appeal

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2323

Supporters of Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan protesting outside High Court on Friday morning (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Supporters of Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan protesting outside High Court on Friday morning (Pic: Socialist Worker)


The High Court has rejected final appeals from Babar Ahmad, Talha Ahsan and three other prisoners who have been fighting extradition to the US.

Babar Ahmad’s father spoke outside the court after the judgement on Friday afternoon. “The truth will eventually emerge of what will be forever remembered as a shameful chapter in the history of Britain,” he said.

The BBC reports that US planes are already waiting on the tarmac at an airbase in eastern England.

Babar Ahmad issued a statement saying, “Today I have lost my eight year and two month battle against extradition to the US.

“I would like to thank all those over the years who supported me and my family: lawyers, politicians, journalists and members of the public from all walks of life.”

If the extradition goes ahead, as now seems probable, Babar and Talha are likely be held in solitary confinement as “terror suspects”.

They will be denied contact with anyone except lawyers and close family—and even those who can visit them will not be allowed to report what they say.

Isolation

If convicted they will be held in “Supermax” prisons where prisoners are kept in isolation for 23 hours a day.

Talha Ahsan’s brother Hamja spoke to Socialist Worker recently about his plight. “Talha has Asperger’s syndrome,” he said.

“He could wait three years before coming to trial. If he is convicted he could be held for life in solitary in a Supermax prison.

“I’ve looked into isolation since the case started. A lot of people don’t realise that solitary confinement is a form of torture. It’s unfair and abusive”.

The mainstream media have treated the extraditions as one case has focused attention on Abu Hamza. In fact Abu Hamza’s case is exceptional—he is the only one to the five have faced a court in Britain.

A private prosecution supported by the Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan campaigns was rejected this week due to “lack of evidence”.

The US, in contrast, is under no legal obligation under current extradition laws to provide any evidence when asking to extradite someone.

British authorities have also refused to prosecute Babar and Talha in this country. Yet the Independent newspaper revealed today information the US is using to justify the extraditions was originally supplied to them by the Metropolitan Police.


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Fri 5 Oct 2012, 18:20 BST
Issue No. 2323
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