Last night, the debate we had been calling for since August was held in the main chamber of the House of Commons. There was such overwhelming and almost unanimous support for the motion that it passed without a vote, with powerful speeches about Babar’s case from senior members from all political parties. A full transcript of the debate can be found here and a video recording is available here (from 19:00:00).
In essence, this means that Parliament has now passed a motion calling upon the Government to reform the extradition laws as a matter of urgency to offer greater protection to British citizens by implementing the recommendations of the Joint Committee of Human Rights.
The debate was a success but only a small step towards liberating Babar and others from the oppressiveness of these extradition laws.
The decision is not binding on the Government but adds extra pressure to them to change the law urgently. The Home Affairs Select Committee on extradition, to whom Babar’s father gave evidence earlier this year, is due to publish its conclusions in February 2012. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has also ordered a second review of the extradition arrangements, by the Liberal Democrats, to be chaired by Sir Menzies Campbell. If it adds its voice to those of Parliament, the Joint Committee on Human Rights, the 100 lawyers and of course, the over 141,000 people who signed the e-petition, we hope the pressure will be too great for them to extradite Babar or Talha or anyone else for that matter under the Treaty.
It is a remarkable success that through the action of the public, politicians have been forced to debate Babar’s case twice in Parliament within the space of 12 days. His case has become well known throughout the country and is now supported by senior politicians from all parties, lawyers, celebrities, and civil society organisations. Even MPs who traditionally have not been known for their stance on issues of human rights, attended Parliament and spoke in favour of Babar, due to the immense pressure placed upon them by all of you.
A full list of those MPs who attended and who spoke can be found here. If your MP did attend and spoke on Babar’s behalf, please write to them to thank them for their support. If they did not attend and had said that they would, please write to them to ask why they did not attend. Please forward any response you receive from your MP to email@example.com
Moving forward, we now need to redouble our efforts to support Dr Caroline Lucas’ calls for a full public inquiry into the actions of the Crown Prosecution Service into its handling of the evidence against Babar and calling for a full review of all the evidence against him with a view to prosecuting him in the UK. An action alert in this respect will be sent out later this month.
Congratulations to all of you for your amazing and tireless efforts.
FREE BABAR AHMAD