FREE BABAR AHMAD
The Free Babar Ahmad (FBA) Campaign welcomes today’s findings of the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) that the US-UK Extradition Treaty should be urgently amended in order to deal with the growing public unease about the fairness of the Treaty.
The Committee recognised the very real human cost of extradition, taking the trouble to hear evidence from those personally affected by extradition, including Babar Ahmad’s father, Ashfaq Ahmad. This is in stark contrast to the Government-appointed Review Panel which failed to meet with a single individual affected by the Treaty. The Home Secretary has astonishingly refused to publish the evidence that was submitted to the Panel.
The Committee’s proposed amendments echo those of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights in calling for the Government to introduce a “forum bar” to extradition which would allow a judge to decide that a person be tried in the UK where it was in the interests of justice for that to happen. The Committee also proposed allowing individuals the opportunity to test the evidence against them in a UK court before extradition could take place.
Ashfaq Ahmad, the father of Babar Ahmad, stated:
“The Government is becoming increasingly isolated in its view, formed by the Scott Baker Review Panel, that the US-UK Extradition Treaty requires no amendments.”
“With the Home Affairs Select Committee now adding its voice to those of the JCHR, Parliament and over 141,000 petitioners, that the Treaty needs to be amended, the Government’s position is becoming increasingly untenable.”
“Babar is a British citizen who is alleged to have committed a crime in the UK. Under the HASC proposed amendments to the Extradition Treaty, he could be tried in a British court of law in accordance with the principles of justice.”
For further information or to arrange a live or pre-recorded interview, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07585355581.
Please visit www.freebabarahmad.com or the official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FreeBabarAhmad.
1. Babar Ahmad is the longest detained-without-trial British citizen in the modern history of the UK. He has been detained since 5 August 2004 (over 7 ½ years) 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 https://www.freebabarahmad.com/the-story/timeline.
2. The European Court of Human Rights is due to deliver its judgment on whether Babar Ahmad’s extradition to the US would violate his human rights on 10 April 2012.
3. 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”.
4. 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 141,000 signatures within 3 months. The e-petition can be viewed at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/885 .
5. 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. The 4 police officers responsible were later found not guilty of this abuse in June 2011, following a 5 week trial at Southwark Crown Court. At the conclusion of that trial, 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…”
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. Babar Ahmad is represented in his extradition case by Ms Gareth Peirce of Birnberg Peirce & Partners.