Dead Men Left

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Good news:

The four remaining Britons held at Guantánamo Bay are to be released within the "next few weeks", foreign secretary Jack Straw announced today.
The imminent release of Moazzam Begg, Feroz Abbasi, Martin Mubanga and Richard Belmar comes after months of what Mr Straw told the House of Commons had been "intense and complex" discussions with the American government over US security concerns.

Just as long as they don't replace these four with this man. The campaign to free Babar Ahmed, wrongfully held pending possible deportation to the US is, slowly but surely, starting to gather momentum. A small example: the otherwise notoriously right-wing Students' Union at Imperial College, where Ahmed was previously a student, have vowed their support.

Imperial College Union has resolved to actively support the ‘Free Babar Ahmad’ campaign.

Mr Ahmad, a former student and staff member at Imperial College, was arrested in December 2003 under the Terrorism Act and subsequently released without charge. He was rearrested in August this year on allegations of involvement in acts of terrorism and is currently awaiting extradition to the United States. His case is due to be reviewed in the near future.

Mr Ahmad’s supporters believe that he was abused by police while in custody, his human rights may be under threat if he is extradited, and he should be given a fair trial in the UK.

Every union branch out there should do something similar. (Pleasing, as an aside, to see my old colleague, Colin Smith, getting the motion passed in, and getting chucked out of the same union meeting.)