Surviving Extradition

Written by CP Editor Thursday, 08 November 2012
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Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmed were among those imprisoned without trial under the US-UK Extradition Act 2003 for six and eight years respectively, for alleged crimes committed in the UK. Whilst under arrest, Babar was subjected to torture by the Metropolitan Police. The four officers charged with the assault were acquitted, and no apology made despite the Police admitting full liability.

After four years of deliberation, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the accused were not at risk of torture or ill-treatment in solitary confinement in supermax prisons the US, despite these conditions being widely believed to constitute torture. 

On 5th October 2012, this ruling led to the extradition of five Muslim men, including Babar and Talha. The timing of Home Secretary’s decision to block Gary McKinnon’s extradition and propose a “forum bar” - just two weeks after their extradition - has led to accusations of double standards and mainstream media complicity.

At this event we aim to draw on the diversity and experience of the invited panel in order to explore the above issues, hear first-hand about how extradition affects peoples lives, and finally propose ways of campaigning to redress the balance and bring about justice. 

Speakers: Gary Mulgrew, Hamja Ahsan, Aviva Stahl

Date: 23rd November 2012

Time: 18:45-20:30

Venue: Abrar House, 45 Crawford Place, W1H 4LP

The Speakers:

Gary Mulgrew joined NatWest Bank in 1983 and worked for them internationally before joining the Royal Bank of Canada in 2000. His banking career ended in June 2002 when he was indicted by the US authorities for allegedly defrauding NatWest. After years of court battles and a high profile public campaign, he and two other members of the 'NatWest Three' were eventually extradited to America. Two years of detention in Houston, Texas were followed by two years in seven different prisons in the United States and England until his full release in early 2010. He now runs a number of successful businesses in the south of England, supported by his bankers, NatWest, and has written a book, Gang of One, about his ordeal (

Hamja Ahsan is an artist, cultural producer and curator by profession who has exhibited widely nationally and internationally. An alumnus of Central Saint Martins (BA Fine Art) and Chelsea College of Art and Design (MA Critical Writing and Curatorial Practice), his work revolves around diaspora politics, post-colonialism, the prison system and civil liberties. Hamja has postponed his career to campaign full-time on behalf of his brother - poet and Asperger’s Syndrome sufferer Talha Ahsan - who was recently extradited to the US after over 6 years detention without trial or evidence in the UK, with media appearances, a recent film a recent film (, poetry and speaker tour across all major UK cities. He has been nominated for the Shell Community Hero Award 2012. 

Aviva Stahl is a researcher at Cageprisoners. She is especially interested in how due process violations and systemic procedural improprieties affect the trials of individuals accused of terrorism. She blogs regularly for CP, and endeavors to link the issues in the War on Terror to other social justice concerns, including animal, environment and social rights. In the past year and a half, Aviva has produced two reports for Cageprisoners: Too Blunt for Just Outcomes (June 2011) and the forthcoming Guantanamo Begins at Home: Islamophobia, Rights Violations, and American Criminal (In)justice. Aviva is currently completing a Masters degree in Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies at the London School of Economics.  



Free entrance. All welcome. No reservation needed. Prayer space available. Street parking free from 18:30.


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