The difference between the two is that the debate allows MPs to vote on the matter and has the potential to affect Babar Ahmad’s case. The Westminster Hall discussion is an easy way for the Government to wash their hands of the matter by not subjecting the issue for a vote.
The previous three e-petitions which secured 100,000 signatures have all been subjected to a full debate in the House of Commons with a vote rather than being sidelined as a Westminster Hall discussion. It is therefore only fair that the petition to put Babar Ahmad on trial in the UK, which over 125,000 people have signed, also be fully debated and voted on.
We are requesting all campaigners to write to their Member of Parliament as a matter of urgency and request that they attend the Backbench Business Committee meeting when it is scheduled and make representations to the Committee that a full debate is needed on the matter.
WRITE TO YOUR MP
1. Visit http://ww.writetothem.com
2. Enter your full UK postcode.
3. Select the hyperlink under “Your Member of Parliament”.
4. Enter your full name, address and email.
5. Copy and paste our template letter below. You can personalise your letter whilst keeping the main points.
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I am writing out of deep concern regarding our government’s extradition treaty with the US, which has unjustly affected British citizens such as Babar Ahmad, Gary McKinnon, Richard O’Dwyer and others.
In recent weeks, over 125,000 people, including myself, have signed an official e-petition on the government website to put Babar Ahmad on trial in the UK. Babar Ahmad is in his eighth year in detention and is the longest detained-without-trial British citizen in the modern history of the UK.
Like Mr. McKinnon, all the criminal conduct Mr. Ahmad is accused of committing is said to have taken place in the UK. If there is enough evidence to extradite him to the US, there should be enough evidence to prosecute him in the country in which he was born, lived, worked and remained when allegedly carrying out the conduct complained of in the US indictment against him.
The Backbench Business Committee of the House of Commons is due to meet shortly to decide whether or not there needs to be a full Commons debate about the matter, as a result of the e-petition securing over 125,000 signatures, the third largest e-petition ever on the government website.
As a constituent of yours, I would like you to attend this meeting and make representations to the Committee as to why this matter needs to be debated on the floor of the House with a vote rather than being merely discussed at Westminster Hall.
Over 125,000 people have now signed the petition reflecting the public concern regarding this matter. What affects Babar Ahmad also affects Gary McKinnon and the many others who remain waiting to be sent to the US without a British court giving proper consideration of the evidence against them or the correct forum for trial. It concerns me that our criminal justice system can be undermined in such a manner.
I request that you respond to me with a copy of any correspondence or representations that you make regarding this matter.