The men collectively spent four decades without charge in British prisons. They have never had the opportunity to challenge in any meaningful manner the allegations made against them.
Today’s decision marks a dark day for British justice and undermines the rule of law. It sets an alarming precedent for future cases and renders the British courts powerless to prevent the extradition of innocent people under an unbalanced extradition treaty. There are no safeguards for anyone against the whims of the FBI or CIA ,discredited bodies that have a well-documented history of oppression , a witch hunt by the media and the political dictat of the government of the day.
Director of CagePrisoners and former detainee in US custody at Guantanamo Bay and Bagram, Moazzam Begg, commented:
“All these men are innocent and have already served lengthy periods in prison. Now they face the prospect of solitary confinement completely estranged from their families in a country known for perpetrating torture and inhumane and degrading treatment upon prisoners”
Babar Ahmad today stated:
“Today I have lost my 8 year and 2 month battle against extradition to the US. I would like to thank all those over the years who supported me and my family: lawyers, politicians, journalists and members of the public from all walks of life. By exposing the fallacy of the UK’s extradition arrangements with the US, I leave with my head held high having won the moral victory.”
Amidst the inhumane hysteria and baiting by some sections of the press CagePrisoners expresses its solidarity with the families of the men being extradited today. They have suffered many years of detention and now their nightmare has taken another horrific twist as they find themselves handed to a country with a vindictive criminal justice system.
CagePrisoners will continue to campaign for the release and repatriation of all extraditees by working closely with our partners in the United States. These individuals can never be forgotten. We convened a press conference in New York yesterday highlighting our concerns about the fate of these individuals and we will also be holding a public event on Thursday 18th October 2012 in London. This unique event will uncover the reality of the United States penal system and hear from a prisoner held in solitary confinement for 29 years who will provide a first hand account vividly illustrating the brutality of the super max prison system.
We call upon the world to recognise the injustice to these men and demand their immediate release by contacting the UK Home Secretary in respect of the British citizens as well as the Egyptian and Saudi Authorities to protect the rights of their citizens. All citizens are entitled to basic rights and protection by their own country. It is a devastating indictment that today all of us wherever we may be are at the mercy of a country vengeful to punish all that dare to question its policies. The process may have the label of judicial extradition but it is nothing more than rendition.
1. CagePrisoners is a human rights NGO that exists to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror. We aim to give a voice to the voiceless.
2. Babar Ahmad, Syed Talha Ahsan, Abu Hamza, Khalid al-Fawwaz and Abdel Abdel Bary have been held in British high security prisons for over 40 years collectively without charge or trial. More information can be found at the CagePrisoners website: www.cageprisoners.com
3. Details of the event hosted by CagePrisoners featuring Robert King, a political prisoner who suffered 29 years in solitary confinement in the US can be found here.