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Latest U.S. Extradition Terror Arrest Sparks Community Outrage
FREE TALHA AHSAN
On 19th July 2006 well known human rights campaigner Syed Talha Ahsan was
arrested by the British police after an indictment by an American court.
His arrest, the latest involving Britain's controversial, fast-track
extradition deal with the US, is bound to provoke outrage politically and from
human rights organisations as well as the many victims of injustice he helped.
His family, supporters and community leaders will be holding an emergency
meeting in Tooting today and a demonstration outside City of Westminster
Magistrates Court on Wednesday morning.
Although the police have not charged Ahsan with any crime and have not found
any criminal activity on his part, he is to face extradition to the US despite
not having committed any criminal acts there.
The accusations being labelled against the human rights campaigner have been
described as ludicrous, by not only family, but also close friends and
His mother said: "Talha is a serious, bookish young man who prefers the
silence of libraries, academic circles and stimulating debate rather than the
"He is a very gentle, softly spoken and thoughtful boy. He was not only caring
to me, but even caring to my carer. He would say that there is too much work
for your carer, so should I help her? That is the type of person he is. "
Supporters last night described his caring nature, coupled by an acute sense
of justice and political understanding. As a Muslim Talha, understood the
importance of justice and its implementation, said one brother who added: "As
an idealist he wanted a better world and he was concerned about the suffering
of people, of course the Muslims who were victims of many conflicts
.Nevertheless he was consistent in his utter condemnation of 7/7 and all the
other acts of terrorism."
Talha's sense of justice has not only been witnessed by his family, but also
by others who were aware of his commitment to such causes. According to
ex-Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg, he spoke of his situation saying,
"While being held illegally in Guantanamo Bay and demonised by the US
administration, Talha had the courage to stand up for my rights and to believe
that I should be tried fairly and be given access to justice. Now that our
roles are reversed, I stand up for him today and say the same. If Talha has
committed a crime, then try him here in the UK, give him access to justice,
rather than an American system which will afford him none. From my experiences
he cannot expect to find any justice in the US."
Syed Talha Ahsan now faces the unjust administration of the American courts, a
system which has already proven to be heavy handed against any Muslim that
comes before its judicial bodies. The message of the family is simple, if
their son has committed any crime, let him be tried in the UK courts, rather
than be extradited to a country where justice has been found wanting.
EMERGENCY COMMUNITY MEETING
Details: Tuesday 25th of July 2006 7pm - 9pm
Venue: 222 Upper Tooting Road (Next to Nando's)
Tooting, London, SW17 7EW
DEMONSTRATION AT BAIL HEARING
Details: Wednesday 26th of July 2006 11.30am - 1pm
Venue: City of Westminster Magistrates Court, Horseferry Road. Nearest Tube
station is Westminster (District line)
The Free Talha Ahsan campaign was started on 21st July 2006 as a response to
the arrest of Syed Talha Ahsan at the behest of an American indictment. The
indictment holds resonance with the case of Babar Ahmad, another British
citizen facing extradition to the US.