06 October 2012
On the 5th of October, Abu Hamza and four Muslims suspects were extradited to the US under terrorism charges. The group arrived in New York this week and the US attorney office in New York has said they would appear before court soon. Abu Hamza faces eleven charges in the US relating to hostage taking, conspiracy to establish a militant training camp, and calling for holy war in Afghanistan. He suffers from severe illnesses and has been portrayed as the most dangerous criminal by the British media. He suffers from depression, chronic sleep deprivation, diabetes and other ailments.
Barbar Ahmed who is the only British national among the five men has raised concerns among legal experts and human rights advocates. He is accused of running terrorist-funding websites in the UK. The UK authorities agreed to extradite him despite the fact that his alleged crimes were committed in Britain. British courts on the other hand declined to prosecute him due to lack of evidence. Ahmad has been in prison since 2004, and has been held without charge for longer than any other British citizen.
Prime Minister David Cameron said “I’m absolutely delighted that Abu Hamza is now out of this country. Like the rest of the public I’m sick to the back teeth of people who come here, threaten our country, who stay at vast expense to the taxpayer and we can’t get rid of them.”
On the other hand, Muslim groups reacted strongly against the extradition of the five men. Hizb at-Tahrir, strongly condemned it in a statement: “We are disgusted – but not surprised – at the travesty that has been described as a judicial process, ending with a decision at the British High Court, which then lead to the extradition of five Muslims from the UK to the United States.”
Islamic Human Rights Commission, an NGO based in the UK, also strongly condemned the extradition: “The decision to extradite UK citizens Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmed is a display of double standards by the so-called British Justice System… IHRC has campaigned for the release of Babar Ahmed and Talha Ahsan continuously and has urged their supporters to do the same. However, it is clear now that the British judiciary is not in place to serve the British people, and in this case has acted in the interest of the US. We would have thought that the days of the UK playing poodle to the US had left us when Tony Blair left office.
This verdict tells the world that the British judiciary is inadequate to deal with cases and has to extradite suspects to the US.”