37 year old Babar Ahmed has been held without charge or trial in a British high security prison for around eight years.
He’s awaiting extradition to the US where he’s accused of raising money to support terrorism in Chechnya and Afghanistan.
But he’s never been charged with any crime in the UK, let alone been put on trial.
Around 65,000 British citizens and residents have been so outraged by Babar Ahmed’s predicament that they’ve signed a petition urging the British government to put him on trial in the UK. If 35,000 more sign the petition in the next 10 days this will trigger a parliamentary debate and vote on the issue, giving Barbar Ahmed’s case unprecedented exposure.
Ahmed’s family and supporters say that he’s an innocent man and a victim of the so-called war on terror. But they say that even if people believe he’s guilty, they should still sign the petition because all he’s asking for is a fair trial.
Ahmed was arrested at his home in South London by anti-terrorism police in December 2003.
He says he was the victim of a sustained and brutal assault by officers who intended to humiliate him and make him fear for his life.
In the ensuing years the Metropolitan police paid him £60,000 in compensation, although the officers who were alleged to have conducted the beating were cleared of all charges by a court.
Over the past few months thousands of people, including prominent personalities, have got involved in the campaign to give Ahmed a fair trial in the UK. They say the reputation of British justice is at stake.
The mainstream UK media have largely ignored the plight of Babar Ahmed.
But if the 100,000 signature threshold is reached in the next 10 days his case, as well as the plight of dozens of other Muslim men incarcerated without charge or trial in the UK, will be thrown into sharp relief.