Shadow Justice Minister Sadiq Khan MP tweeted yesterday that he has written to the Home Secretary, Theresa May, seeking an explanation for the inconsistency in the Government’s handling of the extradition cases of Gary MacKinnon, Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan.
May yesterday announced that the Government would block the US’s request to extradite MacKinnon to face charges in the US for computer hacking on health grounds. She said in a statement to Parliament:
“He has Asperger’s syndrome and suffers from depressive illness ...a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon’s human rights.”
Khan is right to contest the consistency of the decision given that Ahsan has also been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and the impact of extradition on his health appears to have been entirely overlooked by the Home Office in its determination to back his extradition.
In explaining Government proposals to address issues that have arisen in light of the extradition cases and appeals to the European Court of Human Rights, the Home Secretary told Parliament:
“…it is in the overwhelming public interest that our extradition arrangements function properly. They must also be fair. We must balance both strong safeguards for those accused of cross-border crimes with assurance that justice will be done.”
British Muslims will wonder at the expression of fairness and justice when ill health is cited in defence of Gary MacKinnon and cast aside in the case of Syed Talha Ahsan. We look forward to the Home Secretary’s explanation in her response to Sadiq Khan.
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