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E Mail to let the Government Know How You Feel About Babar Ahmad
Babar Ahmad is a British citizen who has been detained without trial in the UK for almost 8 years facing extradition to the US for offences allegedly committed in the UK. All the evidence against him was collected in the UK with most of it being sent to the US before the Crown Prosecution Service could decide whether to prosecute him in the UK or not, a fact only admitted by the CPS in November 2011. It is only right that Babar be tried in the UK and not extradited to the US.

Please write to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, to demand that Babar Ahmad be immediately put on trial in the UK. Copies will also be sent to the Attorney General and the Home Secretary.

We encourage supporters to prepare their own letters using the above points. A sample letter is below for your convenience but a personalised letter always carries more weight.
PLEASE USE A VALID NAME & E MAIL ADDRESS

Thank you for your support!


Days imprisoned so far: 3549

UPDATED ACTION ALERT: Contact your MP to Demand Full Debate on Babar Ahmad

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The Free Babar Ahmad campaign is encouraging supporters to increase the pressure on their MPs in light of the decision of the Backbench Business Committee this week to relegate the debate on the Babar Ahmad e-petition to Westminster Hall.

 

1. Background

2. Write to your MP

3. Write to the Parliamentary Backbench Business Committee

 

1. Background

The e-petition to put Babar Ahmad on trial in the UK has now closed, having secured over 140,000 signatures, a phenomenal response in such a short space of time. The Free Babar Ahmad (FBA) Campaign commends supporters who have worked tirelessly over the last three months to raise awareness of Babar’s case, encouraging members of the public to sign the petition.

In spite of the enormous public support for the matter, the Parliamentary Backbench Business Committee has now refused to list this issue for a full debate in the main chamber of the House of Commons where it could be voted on by Members of Parliament; instead the motion has been relegated to form part of a pre-existing discussion on extradition, led by Dominic Raab MP, in Westminster Hall on 24th November 2011.

Discussions in Westminster Hall are not subjected to a vote and rarely have any practical effect. Other e-petitions which secured 100,000 signatures (including Hillsborough and the EU) have 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 140,000 people have signed, also be fully debated and voted on.

Listing Babar’s case for discussion in Westminster Hall is a convenient way for Parliament to wash their hands of the matter by not subjecting the issue for a vote. The two reasons that have been given for refusing to have Babar’s petition debated in the main Chamber is that it lacks public support and that there is not enough time left in this year’s calendar for such a debate.

Public Support

On 1 November 2011, Mr. Dominic Raab MP, requested a full Commons debate on extradition. His motion had cross-party support in addition to the backing of the respective chairs of the Joint Committee on Human Rights and the Home Affairs Select Committee. Mr. Raab referred to the fact that at that point, over 70,000 people had also signed the petition to put Babar Ahmad on trial in the UK. The Committee rejected Mr. Raab’s request in favour of a request for a debate on cheaper fuel on the basis that over 100,000 people had signed an e-petition calling for it.

The same night, Babar’s petition secured over 100,000 votes and has since risen to over 140,000. The petition for cheaper fuel by way of comparison currently stands at 110,000. Nevertheless, that petition will be debated in the main Chamber on 18 November.

Lack of Time

In response to an email from a constituent, Mr. John Hemming MP, a member of the Committee who made the decision, stated that he had asked for the petition to be “tagged onto the Westminster Hall debate” because there was “no chamber time available at the moment.”

The Westminster Hall debate was going ahead on the 24th with or without Babar’s petition and to simply tag it onto that discussion is an insult to the 140,000 plus people who signed this petition. On the same day that the Committee made this decision, it decided that an e- to reduce immigration which has secured 115,000 signatures (25,000 less than Babar’s petition) would be debated in the main Chamber in the New Year. If time is an issue, then surely the debate on Babar’s petition can also wait until the New Year.

 

2. Write to your MP

We are requesting all campaigners to write to their Member of Parliament as a matter of urgency to express their dissatisfaction that the e-petition will not be debated in the main Chamber of the House of Commons. Please ask your MP to do the following:

1. Attend the discussion in Westminster Hall on 24 November to make representations that the e-petition should be subjected to a full debate in the main Chamber of the House of Commons; and

2. Write to the Chair of the Backbench Business Committee, Ms Natascha Engel MP, requesting that the e-petition be subjected to a full debate in the main Chamber of the House of Commons.

Some or all of the following points should be made to support your argument:

Babar Ahmad has been detained for over 7 years without trial and is the longest detained-without-trial British citizen in the modern history of the UK.

Babar is held under the UK's controversial Extradition Act 2003 which allows British Citizens to be extradited to the U.S for alleged offences that took place in Britain. The CPS has repeatedly refused to charge Babar Ahmad in the UK with any criminal offence whatsoever.

Over 140,000 people have signed an e-petition calling for Babar to be put on trial in the UK rather than extradited to the US. The issue is therefore of tremendous public importance which requires a full debate with a vote in the main Chamber of the House of Commons.

In June 2011, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights called for the UK’s extradition laws to be changed to prevent the extradition of Babar Ahmad and others in circumstances where the domestic authorities had decided not to prosecute them.

In June 2011, the Recorder of Westminster, Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC, said about Babar Ahmad's case, "I express the hope that the ordeal of a man in detention in this country for a number of years without trial is brought to an end as soon as possible...”.

The petition to put Babar on trial in the UK has also been supported by a leading lawyers, academics and celebrities. Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC stated recently that it would be “monstrous and scandalous to extradite Babar Ahmad to the US”.

There are a number of other British citizens facing extradition to the US under the same Treaty including Gary McKinnon, Christopher Tappin, Richard O’ Dwyer, and Talha Ahsan.  The alleged criminal conduct in all these cases is said to have taken place in the UK, yet the domestic authorities have not prosecuted them.

We encourage supporters to prepare their own letters using the above points. A sample letter is below for your convenience but a personalised letter always carries more weight.

1. Visit http://www.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.

6. Preview and send your message.

7. Ensure you check your email to confirm your message, or it will not be sent to your MP.

8. If you experience any technical difficulties whilst sending your message please visit www.theyworkforyou.com to obtain your MP’s contact details, by entering your postcode and following the link to their personal website.

9.     To help us track which MPs have been contacted, kindly send a copy of your correspondence and any replies received to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear [INSERT MP NAME]

I am writing to request you to support the call for a full debate in the House of Commons on the issue of our extradition laws, and in particular the case of Babar Ahmad. In recent weeks, over 140,000 people, including myself, have signed an official e-petition on the government website to put Babar Ahmad on trial in the UK rather than be extradited to the US. 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 other British citizens such as Gary McKinnon and Richard O’Dwyer, 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.

Despite the enormous public support and cross-party backing for the e-petition, the Backbench Business Committee of the House of Commons recently refused to list the matter for a full debate with a vote in the Commons, relegating it to be tagged on to an pre-existing discussion on extradition, led by Dominic Raab MP, in Westminster Hall on 24 November.

I find this an insult to myself and the other 140,000 people who have signed this in light of the government’s pledge to properly debate matters of particular public concern. This e-petition is the 3rd largest e-petition on the government website and has secured more votes than other e-petitions which have been given a full debate. Why then should this issue which affects life and liberty and the sovereignty and integrity of our criminal justice system be sidelines in this way?

As a constituent of yours, I would like you to

(a) attend the discussion in Westminster Hall on 24 November and make representations for the matter to be subjected to a full debate in the main Chamber of the House of Commons with a vote; and

(b) write to the Chair of the Backbench Business Committee, Ms Natascha Engel MP, and request the same.

I request that you respond to me with a copy of any correspondence or representations that you make regarding this matter.

Yours sincerely,

[INSERT NAME]

 

3. Write to the Parliamentary Backbench Business Committee

Please also write to each member of the Parliamentary Backbench Committee who made the decision to allocate this debate to Westminster Hall. If you cannot write to all of them, please write to at least one.

You can also telephone them to express your concern. Remember to be polite but assertive. All contact details below.

Points to mention

Over 140,000 people have signed an e-petition calling for Babar Ahmad to be put on trial in the UK rather than extradited to the US. The issue is therefore of tremendous public importance which requires a full debate with a vote in the main Chamber of the House of Commons.

Babar Ahmad has been detained for over 7 years without trial and is the longest detained-without-trial British citizen in the modern history of the UK.

The motion enjoys cross-party support in addition to backing from the Joint Committee on Human Rights and the Home Affairs Select Committee.

Other e-petitions which have secured 100,000 signatures have been given a full Commons debate such as Hillsborough and the EU. The cheaper fuel e-petition obtained 30,000 less signatures than this petition and is being given a full Commons debate.

If Chamber time is an issue, the debate can be scheduled for a date in the New Year as has been proposed for the ‘No to 70k’ immigration e-petition.

This is an issue which affects the life and liberty of not just Babar Ahmad but all British citizens who may be arrested under the same legislation, including Gary McKinnon and Richard O’Dwyer.

TEMPLATE LETTER

Dear [INSERT MP NAME]

I have become aware that your response to the e-petition to put Babar Ahmad on trial in the UK, which secured over 140,000 signatures including my own, was to tag it along to a pre-existing discussion on extradition due to take place on 24 November in Westminster Hall.

I am outraged by your decision and see it as an insult to people like me who positively engaged with the parliamentary system based on an expectation that the voices of the British public would be listened to through the e-petition system.  The discussion taking place in Westminster Hall would have taken place whether this petition existed or not. Therefore, your decision to tag the third largest e-petition to date alongside that discussion indicates the contempt with which you treat the opinions of the British public. Other e-petitions which have attracted far less signatures , such as the cheaper fuel e-petition, have been listed for a full debate in the main Chamber of the Commons.

Babar Ahmad is in his eight year of detention and is the longest detained-without-trial British citizen in the modern history of the UK. The petition not only has enormous support from the public and cross-party backing, but also has been supported by leading lawyers, academics and celebrities. All recognise that this is not just about Babar Ahmad but about any British citizen who could be similarly treated under a Treaty which allows our criminal justice system to be undermined in this manner.

I understand that there is limited time remaining in the parliamentary schedule this year. However, the matter is clearly of such public importance that it should be scheduled for a full debate in the main Chamber with a vote in the New Year, as has been proposed with the ‘No to 70k’ immigration e-petition which attracted 25,000 less signatures than Babar’s e-petition.

If it is truly the intention of this government and parliament to provide an easy way for the public to engage with politics in this country, it should listen to the public, who will not be hoodwinked into believing their concerns have been addressed through a brief discussion in Westminster Hall where few MPs attend and which has little practical effect in reality.

Yours sincerely,

[INSERT NAME]

 

Contact details for Backbench Business Committee

Natascha Engel – North East Derbyshire

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Tel: 020 7219 4709/ 01246 439018

Fax: 020 7219 0206 / 01246 439024

 

Peter Bone – Wellingborough

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Tel: 020 7219 8496 / 01933 279343

Fax: 020 7219 0301

 

Mr. Philip Davies – Shipley

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Tel: 020 7219 8264 / 01274 592248

Fax: 020 7219 8389

 

Jane Ellison – Battersea

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Tel. 020 7219 7010 / 020 8944 2065

 

John Hemming – Birmingham, Yardley

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Tel: 020 7219 4345 / 0121-722 3417

Fax: 020 7219 0152 / 0121-722 3437

 

Mr. Phillip Hollobone – Kettering

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Tel: 020 7219 8373

Fax: 020 7219 8802

 

Mr. Ian Mearns – Gateshead

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Tel: 020 7219 7074 / 0191-477 0651

Fax: 0191-477 7383

 

Mr. George Mudie – Leeds East

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Tel: 020 7219 5889 / 0113-232 3266

Fax: 0113-232 3853

 

For further information, please visit www.freebabarahmad.com or visit the official Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Babar-Ahmad/170108582117

 

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