They needed 100-thousand signatures on an online petition that would make his case against extradition eligible for debate in the House of Commons.
It would be an important step to stop him being sent to the U-S to face charges he’s not being accused of at home, in Britain.
When the petition closed, and signatures had hit over 140-thousand his supporters were quietly optimistic. Of all the petitions ever put up on this government website, spanning all issues of British life, Babar Ahmad’s is in the top three. One of only 6 to have ever got the needed number of signatures.
So his family and campaigners were disappointed and angry to hear that despite this public show of support, a parliamentary committe has refused to list Babar Ahmad’s case for a full debate in the main chamber of the House of Commons.
Babar Ahmad is a 37-year old British Muslim. A computer programmer, in December 2003 anti-terror police violently arrested him. He was left with 73 injuries to his body yet six days later released without charge. The police later admitted he had been victim of a serious and prolonged attack.
Just nine months later, on 5 August 2004, Ahmad was re-arrested. This time on a US extradition warrant that accused him of supporting Islamist terrorists.
He has been in jail for seven years fighting his extradition.
As of going to air we received no response from the bankbench business committee on our request for comment.
Campaigners have vowed to continue fighting. They will make urgent contact with every MP representing each of the 140,359 signatories to seek their support in securing a proper consideration of Babar’s plight. As they continue to campaign though, Babar Ahmad’s future remains in doubt. He remains in prison. The longest serving detainee without charge under Britain’s controversial terror laws.