> Babar Ahmad
been very concerned about the situation regarding Babar, and
I have taken a number of steps to try to help his case, and
support his family and friends ever since he was first
arrested and since being elected as the MP for Tooting. I
asked for a meeting with the Home Secretary in order to
discuss Babar’s case with him prior to the 16 July
extradition deadline. I also hosted a
cross party meeting in parliament on 4 July organised by the
family, friends and supporters of Babar Ahmad, highlighting
concerns about the Extradition Treaty.
Unfortunately, the Home Secretary has allowed the
extradition request. Babar Ahmad's lawyers have now appealed
to the High Court and he is awaiting a hearing that should
added my name to an Early Day Motion which urges the
Government to amend parts of the Extradition Act 2003. I
have also been asking my parliamentary colleagues to sign
the EDM too. You can read the text of the EDM
moment, the United States can make extradition requests to
the United Kingdom without having to provide prima facie
evidence about the case. However, the same is not true in
reverse, and this points to an inequity in the extradition
issue is obviously very relevant to Babar’s situation. In
his case, no prima facie evidence will be provided by the
US, and Babar may be put on trial in a country that is not
his birthplace or residence. Furthermore, the alleged
charges brought against him were not committed in the US.
believe that the issue is one of principle. If there is
evidence against Babar Ahmed, he should face trial here in
has a lot of support from the local Tooting community, and I
will continue to take a close interest in the case.
recently written a Foreword to a Report entitled A
Counter-Productive Extradition Policy- The Effect of the
Babar Ahmad Case in Radicalising Muslims in Britain by
Khalida Yusuf. I forwarded a copy of this report to all
Parliamentarians in both the House of Commons and the House
of Lords. My Foreword can be read below:
I have known Babar Ahmad for
over fifteen years. We both grew up in Tooting. We have both
been privileged enough to go to university and to gain good
Unfortunately our lives have
taken quite differing directions in the last couple of
years. Whilst I have been fortunate enough to be elected to
Parliament to represent the constituency of Tooting, Babar
has been detained in Woodhill Prison. He has been in prison
now for two years, awaiting extradition to the USA.
There are concerns with the case
against Babar, from reservations with the case for the
prosecution to the grounds for his extradition. There are
also concerns about the treaty which allows the US
authorities to remove him from the UK: his country of birth,
where he and his family have lived peacefully, where has
paid taxes and, perhaps most crucially, where the charges
that he is facing are supposed to have occurred.
It is noteworthy that the
British Police and Crown Prosecution Service have decided
that there is no basis for Babar to be charged for any
criminal offences here in the UK.
At the moment, the United States
can make extradition requests to the United Kingdom without
having to provide prima facie evidence. However, the same is
not true in reverse, and this signifies an inequity in the
The point is not whether Babar
is innocent or not, the point is that if he must stand trial
it should be in front of his British peers, here in the UK,
rather than in the American courts. It is only here that
Babar will have his family and friends for support and the
ability to mount a proper defence.
At present, as I write this,
Babar is still awaiting extradition. He has an uncertain
future ahead of him. His family and friends have been united
in their support for him and their faith in him. They
deserve our utmost respect.
The communities in Tooting have
also shown their solidarity with Babar. This is not because
of his personality, but because of the principles involved.
This makes me even prouder to be the MP for Tooting.
Return to Key