Uk

Syed Talha Ahsan

Written by CP Editor Sunday, 31 October 2010
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Syed Talha Ahsan was arrested at his home in Tooting, South London, on 19 July 2006 by officers from Scotland Yard's extradition unit, under a provisional warrant alleging offences under the Extradition Treaty 2003.

Syed Talha Ahsan was arrested at his home in Tooting, South London, on 19 July 2006 by officers from Scotland Yard's extradition unit, under a provisional warrant alleging offences under the Extradition Treaty 2003.

Background
Born in 1979, Talha had completed his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the School of Oriental and African Studies in Arabic. Amongst his peers, Talha was regarded as somewhat of a calm eccentric genius and even today allegations of him being connected to international terrorism lead those who knew him best to be perplexed.
 
 
Maajid Nawaz, said of Talha “He was always a very gentle and polite man, who never spoke in anger or frustration.  On one occasion, I remember him explicitly and passionately criticising those who use Islam to justify certain criminal activities.”
 
Arrest
Syed Talha Ahsan was arrested at his home in Tooting, South London, on 19 July 2006 by officers from Scotland Yard's extradition unit, under a provisional warrant alleging offences under the Extradition Treaty 2003.
 
Allegations
Talha is accused in the same case as Babar Ahmad, a British computer specialist who was indicted in Connecticut in October 2004. He has been held on a federal indictment from the US state of Connecticut charging him with conspiracy to support terrorists and conspiracy to kill or injure people abroad. The allegations do not relate to domestic terrorism in the UK.
 
Detention
Talha has been detained since July 2006 and has recently, in October 2010, been transferred to HMP Long Lartin.
 
Extradition status
On 15 September 2006 the US requested Talha’s extradition and in March 2007 the case was sent to the Secretary of State for his decision.
 
Before the Secretary of State was due to make his decision, the US Embassy in London felt pressured to issue diplomatic notes, on 15 May 2007, giving reassurances that the death penalty would not be sought against him and that he would be tried in a federal court in accordance with all rights and protections that anyone else facing similar charges would receive.
 
Talha’s extradition was ordered on 14 June 2007 and his appeal was dismissed, in 2008, because of the precedent set in the case of Babar Ahmad.
 
Talha’s struggle against extradition continued to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) which, on 8 July 2010, ruled that likely sentences of up to 50 years imprisonment for Babar Ahmad, Haroon Rashid Aswat, Syed Talha Ahsan and Abu Hamza could violate Convention rights; and it stated that more time was needed to consider whether the condition at the “supermax” ADX Florence prison are inhumane – each inmate detained there dwells in solitary confinement.
 
Talha’s circumstances differ from the others in this ECtHR case as he is diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. If extradited to the US. Talha is likely to face a severely repressive regime of special administrative measures (SAMs) in a 'supermax' prison resulting in greater risk of harm to the long term mental health of the inmates. 
 
Write to Talha
 
To express support at this time you can write to Talha at:
Syed Talha Ahsan A9438AG
HMP Long Lartin
South Littleton
Evesham
Worcestershire
WR11 8TZ
 
You can also visit the campaign page for Talha at: www.freetalha.org
Last modified on Tuesday, 29 May 2012 13:26
CP Editor

CP Editor

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4 comments

  • Comment Link Malcolm Bush Saturday, 14 January 2012 00:07 posted by Malcolm Bush

    I posted a comment on here about the Thalha Ashan web site suddenly disappearing; it has reappeared again. I am not sure what happened, but now it is back.

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  • Comment Link Malcolm Bush Sunday, 08 January 2012 00:36 posted by Malcolm Bush

    I do believe the information above has gone out of date. The website has undergone a metamorphosis into a web site listing companies conducting on-line sales of various items. You type the same address in the URL bar, but get a new site with the same name. The contact phone number from the original site does not work, nor the email. Nothing at all works, the Facebook site seems not to do anything. This means that any campaign material is scrap and there is no contact other than letter post to Talha Ahsan at the prison, if he is moved, there will be none.

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  • Comment Link Malcolm Bush Wednesday, 09 February 2011 07:00 posted by Malcolm Bush

    I thought I'd add a bit of interesting background to my earlier comment. I am someone who never takes interest in sport. I have watched the American TV and internet news channel Democracy Now. This Channel covers the news very well but NOT SPORT. A few week back their news reporter was arrested at the Canadian border and questioned for many hours. This was part of the anti terrorism mentality. Their questions where about sport, endlessly asking will you ask about sport, will you talk about sport. They where told you probably picked the only news team in the world that never talks about sport. Whilst in Canada their reporter made the best human rights speech I've ever come across; speaking at an Amnesty International meeting.

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  • Comment Link Malcolm Bush Wednesday, 09 February 2011 06:41 posted by Malcolm Bush

    Whilst I do not actually personally know Syed Talha Ahsan, I've written two, or three, not sure, campaign letters to him in prison. From a reply, I could not help but form an opinion; that he was an extremely intelligent, clear thinking, man of very placid nature. There does seem to be any real case against him in the UK, but stuff collected from abroad, probably very poor quality intelligence, against a background of hysteria.

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