Home | Friday 12th August 2011 | Issue 783
Last Friday (5th) marked the seventh aniversary of Babar Ahmad’s arrest. Normally such anniversaries don’t merit a mention, but in Babar’s case he has spent the entire time in prison without trial.
First arrested in December 2003, by anti-terror police, Babar was subjected to a “serious, gratuitous and prolonged attack” (see SchNEWS 474). He was never charged however and eventually received compensation for the assault. Four members of the Territorial Support Group (TSG) were found not guilty of ABH in June 2011 – weirdly after the trial the jury apparently asked to shake the hands of the officers.
This was all fairly academic to Babar though as he had been rearrested in August 2004 and was facing extradition to the US under the controversial Extradition Act 2003. The Americans allege that he was involved with a pro-Taliban website, though under the act they do not have to provide any evidence to extradite him. Babar maintains his innocence and wants to be tried in the UK, however there is “insufficient evidence to charge Babar Ahmad with any criminal offence under UK law”. As a result Babar has been stuck in HMP limbo for the past 7 years.
Babar’s final appeal against extradition is currently with the European Court of Human Rights. The judgement is expected to be delivered in late 2011. In the meantime Babar’s family have set-up an e-petition calling for him to be tried in this country - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/885