A crowd of around 100 supporters protested outside Babar Ahmad’s extradition hearing in London on Wednesday of last week. The protest was young and lively, involving civil rights campaigners, students and friends and family of Babar from Tooting, south London.
Speakers included Martin Mubanga, one of the British citizens recently released from Guantanamo Bay, Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, and Ashfaq Ahmad, Babar’s father.
Martin Mubanga said, “Babar Ahmad will not get a fair trial by the Americans. In my own experience, the Americans failed to give me a fair trial—not only myself, but other brothers, some of whom are still imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay.
“The US government and its allies are not interested in the truth, they are only interested in the result. They have never admitted to making a mistake, even though their mistakes are apparent for all to see.
“Now they are talking about laws which say they could put us or you under house arrest. Everybody should be able to live in peace.
“Should we allow Bush and Blair and others to dictate to us what is right and wrong, when they themselves do not really believe in what they do and when their hypocrisy is being exposed?
“There are many brothers still in Guantanamo Bay who are innocent of any crime other than perhaps standing up for what they believe in.”
Lindsey German said, “They are passing a series of laws that will create far more Babar Ahmads in this country.
“They will attack every single person who wants to dissent, organise, give out leaflets or protest.”
The demonstrators included a group of 40 students from Imperial College, where Babar worked as a computer technician.
A coalition of Imperial student groups, including Imperial Against Imperialism, the Islamic Society and Amnesty International, has come together to support the Free Babar Ahmad campaign.
“We passed a motion through the student union backing this protest,” said Leron, an Imperial student at the demo. “It’s definitely struck a chord with students.”