16 October 2012 : CagePrisoners welcomes the Home Office’s decision to block the extradition of Gary McKinnon. (pic with mum, left) It must come as a great relief to Gary and his family who have valiantly battled against the odds to secure this outcome for a decade. There can be no doubt that this is the right decision. However, the timing of the announcement when it comes so soon after the extradition of five other men must call into question the consistency of the Governments application of human rights.
The Home Office ought to have moved to block the extradition of the other five men, Talha Ahsan (who has also been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome), Babar Ahmad, Adel Abdul Bary, Khaled Al-Fawwaz, and Abu Hamza on human rights grounds. Countless academics and experts in human rights, including the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, have stated that solitary confinement as practiced in American ‘supermax’ prisons constitutes torture. As the Home Secretary well knows, these men face potential lifetime sentences in brutal conditions of isolation in ADX Florence and elsewhere.
Board Member of CagePrisoners and former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Omar Deghayes said: “Human rights are for everyone, regardless of their skin colour, faith or culture. We are truly travelling down a frightening path in which certain individuals are seen as more ‘human’ than others.”
CagePrisoners would like to extend its warmest congratulations to Gary and his family. CagePrisoners have warned against the emergence of a two tier legal system where Muslims are afforded less protection and the rights ignored – the latest twist in the extradition cases appears to confirm that the government has no concern for such fears.
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