FREE BABAR AHMAD CAMPAIGN

2 JULY 2012

URGENT ALERT: Request European Court of Human Rights to re-examine Babar Ahmad’s case

On 10 April 2012, the European Court of Human Rights dismissed the appeal of Babar Ahmad against his extradition to the US finding that this would not breach his human rights. Babar’s solicitors have until 10 July 2012 to request permission from the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights for the Court to re-examine the case. If they grant permission, Babar’s case will be examined one final time. If they refuse permission, Babar could be on a plane to the US within days.

We are requesting all campaigners to write to the President of the European Court of Human Rights and request that he grants permission for Babar’s case to be reconsidered for the following reasons:

· The Court knowingly accepted false evidence from the UK government that prisoners in ADX Florence (where they propose to imprison Babar) spent on average 3 years only in solitary confinement before entering the ‘Step Down’ programme to end their isolation. However, the Court refused to accept accurate rebuttal evidence from Babar Ahmad’s lawyers that dozens of ADX Florence prisoners have been in solitary confinement for over 10 years, on the basis that there was not enough time to consider it. This was despite the fact that the Court had already been considering the case for almost five years.

 

· The Court refused to accept submissions on solitary confinement by the eminent Professor Juan Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.

 

· The Court ruled that the ADX Florence prison regime does not amount to isolation because its inmates can shout to each other through the “ventilation system

 

· Just over a week after the judgement, the UK Attorney-General Dominic Grieve QC MP unashamedly admitted in public that the pressure the UK government had been applying for political reform of the ECtHR had led to rulings in the UK’s favour, such as the Hamza ruling.

 

· The Court concluded that imposing an irreducible whole life sentence on Babar Ahmad would “not be grossly disproportionate” (Paragraph 243 of Chamber judgement) even though he has not been accused of a capital offence, in which someone was killed. The Court came to this conclusion by lumping together six distinct cases as one without considering the individual facts of each case.

Please write to the European Court of Human Rights.

 


ALL CORRESPONDENCE MUST BE SENT BEFORE 10th JULY.

WRITE TO:

Judge Sir Nicholas Bratza
President of the European Court of Human Rights
Council of Europe
67075 Strasbourg Cedex
France

Email:
Nicolas.Bratza@echr.coe.int

CC:
Clare.Ovey@echr.coe.int
Lech.Garlicki@echr.coe.int
echrpress@echr.coe.int

Send copies of all correspondence to Strasbourg@freebabarahmad.com


SAMPLE LETTER

 

Judge Sir Nicholas Bratza

President of the European Court of Human Rights

Council of Europe

67075 Strasbourg Cedex

France

 

Dear Judge Bratza

Re: Babar Ahmad & Others v. United Kingdom (24027/07)

I urge you to accept the referral of the Babar Ahmad case to the Grand Chamber for the following reasons:

1. The ECtHR considered the Babar Ahmad case since June 2007 before it delivered its judgement on 10 April 2012, i.e. almost a full five years. In late 2011, the ECtHR knowingly accepted false evidence from the UK Government that ADX Florence prisoners spend an average of 3 years in solitary confinement before entering the ‘Step-Down’ program to end their isolation. However, when Babar Ahmad’s lawyers submitted accurate rebuttal evidence to the ECtHR that dozens of ADX Florence prisoners have been in solitary confinement for over 10 years (with several there for over 15 years), the ECtHR refused to accept this evidence on the basis that there was not enough time to consider it. (This despite the ECtHR considering the Babar Ahmad case since June 2007, i.e. almost five years). I find it inexcusable that the ECtHR chose to conduct the proceedings in this case in such a biased manner by hearing only one side of the argument.

 

2. I am puzzled why the ECtHR refused to even consider submissions on solitary confinement by the eminent Professor Juan Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. I am particularly disturbed that the ECtHR ruled in its Chamber judgement of 10 April 2012 that the ADX Florence prison regime does not amount to isolation because its inmates can shout to each other through the “ventilation system.” I am concerned that this sets a dangerous precedent for EU citizens who may end up in prisons in the developing world.

 

3. On 20 April 2012, 10 days after the judgement in the case was delivered, the UK Attorney-General Dominic Grieve QC MP unashamedly admitted to the Law Society Gazette that the European Court was already showing “greater responsiveness” to the concerns of the UK’s national courts, parliament and public opinion – for example in its Abu Hamza extradition judgement.  I am shocked that a supposedly independent judicial court such as the ECtHR has allowed itself to be manipulated and influenced by UK politicians and the tabloid press.

 

4. I find it incredible that the ECtHR concluded in this case that imposing an irreducible whole life sentence e on Babar Ahmad would “not be grossly disproportionate” (Paragraph 243 of Chamber judgement) even though he has not been accused of a capital offence, in which someone was killed. It is irresponsible of the ECtHR to lump together distinct cases as one without considering the individual facts of each case.

 

Babar Ahmad is the longest detained-without-trial British citizen in the modern history of the UK, having been held in prison since August 2004 (8 years). In late 2011, over 149,000 members of the British public signed an official UK Government e-petition supporting Babar Ahmad’s right to be tried in Britain. The ECtHR has one last opportunity to put an end to this historic injustice. I therefore urge you in the strongest possible terms, in the interests of justice and human rights, to have the Grand Chamber re-examine this case.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely

 

Copy to

T.L. Lawrence Early, Fourth Section Registrar

Clare Ovey, Deputy Fourth Section Registrar

Judge Lech Garlicki

Fourth Section Registry

Press Office

 

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest