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Why was Babar Ahmad grouped together with Abu Hamza?
Lumping together the cases of five terror suspects has helped to deflect the seriousness of what has transpired today.
Reports, today have suggested how ‘radical Islamist cleric Abu Hamza and four other terror suspects’ have failed in last-ditch High Court bids to halt their extradition from the UK to the US to stand trial on terrorism charges.
But what has Abu Hamza’s suspected crimes have to do with those of Babar Ahmand and Syed Ahsan?
The judges also rejected legal challenges by Khaled Al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary.
All five cases returned to the High Court after judges at the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene and stop the Home Secretary extraditing them.
To the wider public these cases seemed similar but could not have been more different. The case of Babar Ahmad in particular had received widespread backing by non-Muslims too.
But none of this seemed to matter as soon as he was continuously reported alongside Abu Hamza.
Sadiq Khan MP, Member of Parliament for Tooting, had ealier called on the media to report responsibly on the extradition case against his constituents Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan.
Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan have been held in British prisons, without charge, for 7 and 6 years respectfully.
He said, “I am calling on all parts of the British media to report responsibly on the extradition case against my constituents, Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan.
“On too many occasions phrases like ‘Abu Hamza and five others’ have been used as a shorthand for the six men fighting extradition to the United States, which has conflated my constituents cases with the other – very different – cases, such as the one against Abu Hamza.
“The association of my constituents – who, despite 7 and 6 years in prison, are still to be charged with any crime – with a man convicted of numerous hate and terrorism-related crimes will create doubt around their reasons for their fighting against extradition.
”It is important to remember that Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan are very willing to stand trial in the UK.
“The American authorities are accusing them of committing serious crimes whilst in the UK, backed up with evidence collected by the Metropolitan Police. They are not trying to avoid standing trial; rather they feel that they should be tried in the country where they are accused of committing the crimes – which is also the place where their family and legal representatives are.
“I am not accusing any one news organisation of misrepresenting my constituents as guilty, but it is not right to associate Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan with others convicted of terrorist-related charges.
“There are clear differences between the cases against Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan and the one against Abu Hamza, and this should always be emphasised to the British public.”