6 August 2012
Today, over 30 leading academics, including Professor Noam Chomsky and Professor Stuart Hall, signed an open letter to the Crown Prosecution Service demanding that Mr Ahmad be put on trial at once in a British court. The letter, published in the Guardian, stated that this was “the only just resolution of the matter, and one that will salvage the integrity of our criminal justice system.”
Father of Babar Ahmad, Ashfaq Ahmad stated:
“We wonder how ashamed Britain would be should the world come to know that on the same weekend our athletes achieved tremendous success at London 2012, a fellow British citizen began a record-breaking ninth year in detention-without-trial”
“The Olympic Games will be over in two weeks time but I do not know how much longer I will be expected to continue my marathon to and from prison to see my son.”
“The DPP should recognise the enormous public interest in prosecuting Babar in a British court of law and putting an end to his ordeal.”
Babar Ahmad is also willing to engage in correspondence with the media who should write to him by recorded delivery at the following address: Babar Ahmad A9385AG, Detainee Unit, HMP Long Lartin, South Littleton, Evesham WR11 8TZ. [ENDS]
Notes to Editors:
1. 1. The letter to the CPS from the academics was published in the Guardian on 6th August 2012 and can be viewed online here.
2. Babar Ahmad has been detained without trial since 5 August 2004 following an extradition request from the US. A complete timeline of Babar Ahmad’s case from the moment he was arrested on 2 December 2003 can be viewed at http://www.freebabarahmad.com/the-story/timeline.
3. In 2005, District Judge Timothy Workman, then the most senior extradition judge in the UK, said about Babar Ahmad's case. "This is a difficult and troubling case. The defendant is a British Citizen who is alleged to have committed offences which if the evidence were available, could have been prosecuted in this country."
4. On 22 November 2011, the Crown Prosecution Service admitted that it had never reviewed all the evidence seized from Babar Ahmad’s home before it was sent to the US authorities. The CPS has nevertheless repeatedly refused to prosecute Babar Ahmad in the UK claiming that there is “insufficient evidence”. On 24 November 2011, Caroline Lucas MP called for a full public inquiry into the handling of the evidence.
5. A full parliamentary debate on urgently reforming British extradition laws took place on 5 December 2011 with the motion being passed without a vote. The debate came as a result of an e-petition to put Babar Ahmad on trial in the UK securing over 149,000 signatures within 3 months. The e-petition can be viewed at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/885
6. On 22 June 2011, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights explicitly raised concerns over Babar Ahmad's case in its report in 'The Human Rights Implications of U.K extradition policy' and recommended that the government urgently re-negotiate the UK- US extradition of individuals in Babar Ahmad's position.
7. During his arrest in London in 2003, Babar Ahmad sustained over 73 injuries. In March 2009, the Metropolitan Police admitted carrying out this abuse and paid him £60,000 compensation. Four police officers later stood trial over this attack but were found not guilty.