Babar Ahmad loses High Court appeal against extradition

Ashfaq AhmadTwo terrorist suspects today lost their high court battle to avoid extradition to the United States.

Lawyers for Haroon Rashid Aswat and Babar Ahmad argued that, despite US assurances to the contrary, there was “a real risk” that the men would be mistreated, or tried and sentenced as enemy combatants if sent to America.

Dismissing their appeal, Lord Justice Laws, sitting in London with Mr Justice Walker, said the allegation that the US might violate undertakings given to the UK “would require proof of a quality entirely lacking here”.

The judges said they would take time to consider whether both men should be given permission to take their case to the House of Lords, the highest court in the UK, for a final ruling. They will announce their decision at a later date.

Guardian, 30 November 2006

The Islamic Human Rights Commission has stated: “The decision highlights the manifest injustice of the Extradition Treaty whereby innocent British citizens can be extradited to the US on the flimsiest of evidence. To date, not a shred of evidence has been produced against these men which would warrant charges being brought against them in the UK. In light of claims of the highest level of intelligence-sharing, IHRC finds it puzzling why evidence against the men, if it does exist, has not been passed on to British authorities in order to charge them in Britain.”

IHRC Chair Massoud Shadjareh said: “Since Britain has some of the most comprehensive terrorism laws in the world, if there is any evidence against these men, they should be charged and tried in a British court. Without any evidence being produced, innocent British citizens will be subjected to an American criminal justice system which has done away with due process and legitimized torture in its ‘war on terror’.”

IHRC press release, 30 November 2006