British Muslims continue to watch with dismay as step by step, civil liberties are eroded in Britain. Last week’s announcement that Babar Ahmad, a British Citizen, could be handed over to the US authorities – knowing full well the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, where Babar could end up – is not only a gross violation of an individual’s rights, but a slap in the face of British traditional notions of fair play.
“This goes beyond the rights of one individual, it is about the erosion of our national values and how we have changed as a society post-9/11 in the most worrying of ways”, stressed Dr Munir Ahmed, President of the Islamic Society of Britain. He added, “If Babar has broken the law, he should be tried in this country; if not, he should be released without delay. We urge the Home Secretary to allow Babar to remain in his country and agree with the Muslim Council of Britain that the terms of the Extradition Treaty 2003 are imbalanced and should be re-negotiated.”
Currently under the treaty there is no requirement for the US authorities to present a prima facie case, although the UK must do so when seeking extraditions from the US.
24th May 2005
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