Roger Whittaker

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Babar Ahmad (2)

Tuesday 17th May 2005

Babar Ahmad has lost his case against extradition to the United States. (But it seems certain that there will be an appeal.)

Under unequal treaties between the UK and the USA, the Americans have the right to demand extradition without even presenting a prima facie case against the person who is accused.

In effect, in the case of Babar Ahmad, this means that a man is being sent to another country for trial and even possible execution for the things that he wrote on a website.

Furthermore, the suspicion is that that the way in which he is being treated is effectively a punishment for the fact that he complained about his treatment by British police when he was severely beaten at the time of his original arrest.

It also seems that the authorities are unhappy about the fact that Babar Ahmad used PGP: this is worrying for anyone who wants to be able to use the internet to communicate securely and privately.

The judge said:

This is a difficult and troubling case. The defendant is a British subject who is alleged to have committed offences which, if the evidence were available, could have been prosecuted in this country.

Nevertheless, the Government of the United States are entitled to seek his extradition under the terms of the treaty and I'm satisfied, that the reasons that I have just given, that none of the statutory bars apply.

See also:,,2-1615896,00.html