The family of Babar Ahmad responded to today's decision to block the extradition of Gary McKinnon on human rights grounds:
"We strongly welcome the decision not to extradite Gary McKinnon - we would not want his family to experience the pain and suffering we have all been enduring since Babar was extradited.
"However, questions do need to be asked as to why within the space of two weeks, a British citizen with Aspergers accused of computer related activity is not extradited, while two other British citizens, one with Aspergers, engaged in computer related activity are extradited. A clear demonstration of double standards.
"That Theresa May felt compelled to postpone both the McKinnon decision on several occasions and the introduction of the forum bar (which would have prevented Babar's extradition) demonstrates her willingness to make vulnerable individuals like Gary suffer in her determination to extradite others.
"Many of our supporters are angry at what appears to be blatant old-fashioned racism under which all British citizens are equal but some are more equal than others."
For further information, visit www.freebabarahmad.com or telephone 07930382972. You can also visit the official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FreeBabarAhmad or follow @freebabarahmad on Twitter [ENDS]
Notes to Editors:
1. Babar Ahmad was extradited on 5 October 2012, having been detained without trial since 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.
2. On 24 September 2012, the European Court of Human Rights rejected Babar Ahmad’s request for appeal against extradition to be referred to the Grand Chamber, ruling that there would be no violation of his rights if he were to be extradited to the United States.
3. On 5 October 2012, the High Court refused Babar Ahmad’s application for permission to judicially review the Director of Public Prosecution’s decision not to prosecute him in the UK. He was flown to Connecticut, USA within hours. He is currently being held in solitary confinement in US custody as he awaits trial tentatively scheduled for October 2013.
4. The DPP made his initial decision not to prosecute Babar Ahmad in July 2004 stating that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute him in the UK. On 22 November 2011, the Crown Prosecution Service admitted for the first time that it had never actually reviewed the bulk of the material seized from Babar Ahmad’s home, it having been withheld from the CPS and transferred by the Metropolitan police to their American counterparts.
5. In March 2012 and June 2012, detailed representations were made to the DPP in relation to the case to prosecute Babar Ahmad in the UK in light of the developing prosecutorial policy of the DPP, supported by reference to the material that the police had sent to the US. On 7 September 2012, British businessman Karl Watkin sought the DPP’s permission to privately prosecute Babar Ahmad in the UK and submitted a bundle of evidence to the DPP including signed statements by Babar Ahmad of his involvement with the websites in question.
6. On 1 October 2012, the DPP refused to give permission to Mr Watkin to prosecute Babar Ahmad and further stated that on reviewing the material submitted in March 2012 and June 2012, there remained “insufficient evidence” to sustain a realistic prospect of conviction to warrant prosecution.
7. 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."
8. 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 almost 150,000 signatures within 3 months. The e-petition can be viewed at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/885 .
9. 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.
10. 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.