Shame shame shame I could weep. I've been reading how Londoner Babar Ahmad was arrested and beaten by Anti-Terrorist police, then released without charge. The Crown Prosecution Service has shamefully declined to prosecute his assailants, despite expert witnesses and eyewitness testimony. Now he’s being plucked out of the protection of our judicial system and tossed into the now-dangerous waters of the Americans’ — courtesy of a nod from the US and a wink from our Home Secretary.
The US Government seeks his extradition to try him for offences allegedly committed — and punishable — here, but for which they are too delicate to offer evidence to a British court. Under the shameful Extradition Act 2003 the Home Secretary can — and just has — ordered him off to the US, infamous for its recent confusion of ‘foreigners’ and ‘terrorists’, without the US having to present even prima facie evidence to a court here. Once in America, he can be sent to Guantánamo or, as a foreign national, to America’s ‘black site’ prisons in other countries. The US Embassy promises he won’t, but this would seem no obstacle to a President wih Bush’s experience of ignoring international law and other treaty obligations. Pray the High Court puts a stop to this, though the Act leaves it little scope. Pin this one on the politicians.
No other country has made such an agreement with the United States. Other invited European governments inquired politely if the fishing rights were to be reciprocated — would they be free to help themselves to US citizens they wanted to try? Not a chance; and that ended the matter. But not here. The Blair government apparently does not wish to allow protecting its citizens to result in a shortage of British prisoners in Guantánamo. Poodle up, boys.
Repeal this Act. Demand prosecution of the officers who assaulted Babar Ahmad, the only crime for which evidence is on offer. Demand Ahmad’s prosecution in a British court for provable crimes; or his compensation for this unwarranted persecution.
Do it. Unless heads roll for this, they’ll be coming for you next.Posted by SJT at November 16, 2005 04:47 PM
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