The interview was recently conducted at HMP Long Lartin following a year-long battle by the BBC against the Ministry of Justice for the right to broadcast and film an interview with Babar Ahmad. It is the first time in history that someone detained in a UK prison, whether on remand like Babar Ahmad or serving a sentence post-conviction, has been interviewed by the broadcast media. It is also the first time that Babar Ahmad has spoken in any detail about his case, discussing why he should be tried in the UK and explaining how British police sent all the evidence seized from his home to the US before the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had had an opportunity to see it, a fact admitted by the CPS in November 2011.
Babar Ahmad discusses his arrest, the assault on him by the police, and his ongoing detention while he fights extradition to the US, where he faces allegations of fundraising for Chechen and Afghan insurgents through websites based in the UK.
Ashfaq Ahmad, the father of Babar Ahmad stated
“Babar has been detained without trial for almost 8 years during which time he has never been asked a single question about the allegations or been permitted to challenge the evidence against him. He has now served the equivalent of a 15 year sentence without even having his day in court. This interview will hopefully give people an insight into his ongoing ordeal and why we are fighting so hard to have him tried in the UK.”
For further information or to arrange a live or pre-recorded interview, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07585355581. You can also visit www.freebabarahmad.com or the official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FreeBabarAhmad. Babar Ahmad is also willing to engage in correspondence with the media who should write to him by recorded delivery at the following address: Babar Ahmad A9385AG, Detainee Unit, HMP Long Lartin, South Littleton, Evesham WR11 8TZ.
Notes to the Editor:
1. On 11 January 2012, the High Court in London ruled that it was unlawful for Justice Secretary Ken Clarke to refuse the BBC permission to film an interview with British Detainee Babar Ahmad in prison, paving the way for the media to be allowed camera access to a British prisoner for the first time.
2. Babar Ahmad has been detained without trial since 5 August 2004 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.
3. The European Court of Human Rights is due to deliver its judgment on 10 April 2012 as to whether Babar Ahmad’s extradition to the US would violate his human rights due to the prison conditions he is expected to be held in.
4. 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”. On 24 November 2011, Caroline Lucas MP called for a full public inquiry into the handling of the evidence.
5. 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 .
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. In 2005, District Judge Timothy Workman, then the most senior extradition judge in the UK, said about Babar Ahmad’s case. “This is a difficult and troubling case. The defendant is a British Citizen who is alleged to have committed offences which if the evidence were available, could have been prosecuted in this country.”
8. 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. Four police officers later stood trial over this attack but were found not guilty.