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Act now in the name of justice!

Published: 19/06/2012 03:16:01 PM GMT
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• UK's largest Muslim organisation demands politicians act over detainees-without-trial • Eight years in detention makes a sham of justiceThere is a very real possibility of miscarriages of justice for (more)

• UK's largest Muslim organisation demands politicians act over detainees-without-trial
• Eight years in detention makes "a sham" of justice

There is a very real possibility of miscarriages of justice for four young men awaiting extradition to the US.

Because of an unfair treaty that bypasses the British judicial system, Syed Talha Ahsan, Gary McKinnon, Richard O'Dwyer and Babar Ahmad seem likely to be sent to an uncertain future, with Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmad placed in American Supermax jails - despite never having faced any charges here in the UK.

The Muslim Council (MCB) is backing urgent calls for political action so that Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan in particular are not handed over to US authorities. After eight and six years, respectively, in jail neither has had a chance to contest their detention-without-trial. Babar Ahmad is now the longest British detainee who has not been tried in the history of this country.

Farooq Murad, the MCB's Secretary General, has urged imams within the MCB affiliate network to highlight the issue at the forthcoming Friday congregation.

"This makes a sham of British justice," he said. "Imagine these men were your own family, your brothers and sons. Once extradited to the US, Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan in particular will be placed in the most inhumane and atrocious prison conditions.”

"Fair-minded people need to stand up and ask Government to heed public opinion. Act now by conveying your concern to your local Member of Parliament. Please write to your MP and also seek face-to-face meetings. Ask them to support Early Day Motion 128 in Parliament that calls for the Government to urgently stop these types of extradition."

The MCB will be represented at a demonstration outside Downing Street on Saturday 23rd June, commencing at 1 pm in support of the campaign calling for 'British Justice for British citizens'. Speakers will include Farooq Murad as well as other representatives of faith communities, plus the families of the young men involved, human rights lawyers and activists and trade union leaders.

Links & Statements:

Early Day Motion 128

Details of Saturday 23rd June Demo outside Downing Street

Statement from Rt Hon Sadiq Khan MP, Shadow Lord Chancellor & Shadow Secretary of State for Justice

“As the Member of Parliament for Tooting I have been working with the families and legal representatives of my constituents, Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan, for several years. I have raised a number of different issues about their cases to senior members of the previous government and current government (including several Home Secretaries) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). If there is evidence against them they should be tried in the UK".

Statement of the Home Affairs Select Committee:

“Extradition imposes a significant burden on the accused, who might have to spend many months or years living in a foreign country, often in prison, away from their home, family, friends and job. It would be fundamentally unjust to submit an innocent person to such an ordeal, even if they were subsequently acquitted at trial.... The Committee is proposing significant changes to the extradition arrangements between the US and the UK not because we are critical of the American justice system but because we recognise the importance of robust extradition arrangements between our two countries”. March 2012

Statement of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights:

“We recommend that the Government urgently renegotiate this article of the US-UK extradition treaty to exclude the possibility that extradition is requested and granted in cases such as that of Mr Bermingham and Mr Ahmed, where the UK police and prosecution authorities have already made a decision not to charge or prosecute an individual on the same evidence adduced by the US authorities to request extradition”. June 2011