Babar Ahmad and Haroon Aswat have lost their High Court battle to avoid extradition to the US to face "terrorism" charges. The court did not immediately rule on whether the two men could appeal the decision to the House of Lords.
Babar Ahmad's family say:
"We are very disappointed with the High Court verdict today. We are hopeful that the High Court will certify that there is a point of law of public importance on military detention and rendition. Our legal team will apply for this certificate for leave to take this matter to the House of Lords within the next 14 days."
Babar Ahmad is a British citizen who was first arrested under Anti-Terrorism Laws in December 2003. He was left with 50 injuries, two of which were life threatening. He was released without charge after a week. He was re-arrested on 5th August 2004 on an Extradition Warrant by the USA.
Babar Ahmad's case has become well-known nationally. His family have received wide support and have given own their support generously to other campaigns for justice. Babar Ahmad's wife and father spoke at meetings in Edinburgh and Glasgow last year, and his wife received a standing ovation when she spoke at the G8 Alternative Simmit in Edinburgh. The message from Babar Ahmad that she passed on to the Alternative Summit is as relevant as ever:
Message from Bbar Ahmad to the G8 Alternative Summit, July 2005
The summit of the world leaders that is being held in Gleneagles is wrongly named. It should be called the G7 Summit, because in effect Britain has become the colony of the U.S. It is spineless to make independent sovereign decisions without being dictated to by the U.S.
In the days of the British Empire, all colonies had to hand over their citizens to the Empire upon demand without the need for any evidence to be presented. It was a one-way system since these colonies did not have the right to ask for any British Citizen in the same way.
Today, Britain has transformed from being a coloniser to the colonised. Since the signing of the UK-U.S. Extradition Treaty 2003, the U.S. Empire can demand the extradition of any British Citizen without having to produce a shred of evidence in a British Court. On the other hand, Britain cannot request the extradition of a U.S. citizen in the same way because the British Government claims that to do so will be in breach of the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights.
Sadly, this is not merely a hypothetical situation but this Extradition Treaty affects real people, real families, and real British Citizens. It is one thing to demand the extradition of a British Citizen without any evidence. It is quite another thing to cage a British Citizen like an animal for almost one year, subject him to humiliating strip-searches and monitor every word and letter of his, at the 'request' of the U.S. Government.
Yet, statistics show that the so-called 'War on Terror' is actually being used as a pretext to give the U.S. control over every British Citizen, Muslim or not. Of the 50 or so extradition requests made by the U.S. under this new Extradition Treaty, we are told that only 3 relate to alleged terrorism offences whilst over 20 relate to alleged financial crimes.
If the British Justice System is supposed to be the best in the World, why do British Citizens have to be sent to America to be tried for so-called 'crimes' that are alleged to have been committed mostly if not wholly in Britain? Should Britain realistically extradite any human being to the U.S. given America's track record of torture, sexual and religious abuse of prisoners, Guantanamo Bay and extra-judicial rendition of people to countries that make Saddam Hussain's Iraq look like a Scandinavian democracy?
Edward Burke said that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Today, you are being asked to make a stand: not for me, but for your own selves and for your own children. Today it is my turn. Tomorrow it will be your turn and anyone else identified as Anti-Establishment. Act now before it is too late.
Babar Ahmad, 3 July 2005