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Thursday, 12 April 2012

After all, we’re civilised aren’t we?

Thursday 12 April 2012 – I’m always up for justice being done, when someone commits a crime I’m a firm believer that given the proof justice must prevail. After all, we’re civilised; aren’t we? The news recently has been full of the ruling by the ECHR in Strasbourg to extradite to the U.S. people suspected of being involved with terrorism. One of these people being the outspoken cleric Abu Hamza; who has publicly vilified England and its people, so I guess there won’t be too many people here that will be sorry to see him leave for his incarceration in a U.S. prison.

We’ve all heard about people in other countries being taken against their will and being locked up for crimes they did not commit. Innocent people like Hana Shalabi, whose only crime is to be a Palestinian;  we sigh, sad isn’t it, and then give thanks that we live in an enlightened society where this could never happen. – Or can it?

One of the men named in the extradition press frenzy is, British Citizen, Babar Ahmad. Mr Ahmad is the longest detained without charge British detainee, who has thus far spent 2807 days in prison.

Babar was initially arrested back in December 2003, but was released six days later without charge, during this time of detention he suffered 73 forensically recorded injuries. (Remember I asked the question – After all, we’re civilised aren’t we?) Despite being awarded £60,000 in compensation and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson making a statement, admitting that Mr Ahmad had been the victim of a ‘serious, gratuitous and prolonged attack.’ Did Mr Ahmad get justice? Sadly, not in my opinion, as during a trial the officers accused of attacking Mr Ahmad were acquitted after just 45 minutes of deliberation by a jury: a jury that requested permission after to shake the hands of the policemen accused. (Remember I asked the question – After all, we’re civilised aren’t we?) Just who are these people asking to shake the hands of men obviously guilty of inflicting abuse?

Now any quick search of the internet will bring up a plethora of information about Babar Ahmad and the case, and I’m not here to bang on about the intricacies of said case; my point is, after all, we’re civilised aren’t we? So let’s set an example to the rest of the world where incarceration without charge takes place, and charge Mr Ahmad or release him.

Come on British justice isn’t it about time you ‘Put Up, or Shut Up'?’ After all, we’re civilised aren’t we?

I make no apologies for my feelings on this issue. I firmly believe that if Babar Ahmad is guilty of the crimes he is believed to have committed, then he should be punished in accordance with the law. What I don’t believe is that Britain can keep a man detained without charge, yet condemn other countries for doing the same thing – when did the dictionary definition of ‘British’ become ‘hypocrite?’


  1. Good on you it takes a brave man to speak out, thanks. JD

  2. "Until proven guilty" is the phrase in question.