His plight goes back to when Babar was arrested at his London home under anti-terror legislation in December 2003. By the time he reached the police station he sustained at least 73 forensically recorded injuries, including bleeding in his ears and urine. Six days later he was released without charge. Following legal action, Barbar was eventually awarded £60,000 compensation in March 2009, after anti-terrorist police admitted he was subjected him to ‘grave abuse, tantamount to torture’ during his arrest. But following a trial lasting five weeks at Southwark Crown Court in June this year, all four police officers charged with the assault were acquitted.
Although never charged with any offence in the UK, Babar’s continuing detention in a top security prison dates from when he was re-arrested in August 2004 under Britain’s notorious extradition treaty with the US, which requires no prima facie evidence. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has refused to prosecute him in Britain for the crimes that the US alleges he has committed here. It was only revealed in November this year that the police sent material gathered from his house to the US back in 2003, without even showing it to the CPS.
After seven years, MPs were finally forced to debate his case in a pre-arranged debate on extradition this month following a petition that amassed over 140,000 signatures and after an attempt to confine the issue to the backwaters of Westminster Hall. The result led to a motion being passed without a vote “to reform the UK’s extradition laws as a matter of urgency to strengthen the protection of British citizens” but refused to insert the key phrase regarding “pending cases”. Five other men, including three Britons, are in the same position of being locked up in prison without charge and accused of no crime by the UK authorities, but forced to fight extradition to the US from jail. However, none have been in this position as long as Babar Ahmad.
Babar’s extradition has currently been put on hold while his case is considered by the European Court of Human Rights in what is his final appeal. In the meantime he is caught in legal limbo but unlike the high profile extradition of British hacker Gary McKinnon, who had committed a crime, he has been languishing behind bars without any evidence or knowledge of whether he even has committed any crime. In much the same way, many other Muslims have been held under house arrest under control orders, which are incompatible with the right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
These are just two examples of Britain acting as a tinpot military dictatorship as part of the self-defeating ‘war on terrorism’. Not only does the US extradition treaty need to be urgently revised and Babar given the right to justice through due process, but also many other tainted emergency laws enacted under the so-called war on terror need to be scrapped.