Manchester screening of powerful documentary "Extradition" (Talha Ahsan)
Pete Weatherby QC spoke at a screening in Manchester last night of the powerful documentary "Extradition" which explores the injustices of the Extradition Act 2003 through the suffering of two individuals (Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan) and their families.
Other speakers at last night's event included:
- Hamja Ahsan (brother of Talha Ahsan)
- Peter Kalu (playwright and poet)
- Akiel Chinelo (spoken word poet)
- Gerald Kaufman MP
- Tariq Mehmood (Writer)
At the event, Pete Weatherby QC spoke about the difficulties with the current 2003 treaty:
"There have been at least 5 extradition treaties between this country and the US since 1794 and prior to 2003. In every case the treaty required for the extradition of a citizen from this country to the US that the US provide the English courts with a prima facie case. A prima facie case is a term of legal art. What it means in plain English, is evidence that the court can consider and determine whether there is a proper case to answer. Not a huge hurdle but one which allows for proper consideration of the case. It allows for the citizen to say,â hang on that is a malicious allegationâ, or it doesnât provide a case which properly calls for an answer."
"However, the current treaty, made in 2003, omits that requirement and simply requires a statement of the facts. No prima facie case, nothing to properly inform the citizen of the case against him or her, nothing which can be challenged. So now, citizens such as Mr Ahsan can be rendered to a foreign state without proper challenge. And the 2003 Act which brought into effect the US Treaty, also brought similar provisions into effect in respect to EU countries, as well as some other common law jurisdictions."
"Until the Extradition Act 2003, the state looking to extradite British citizens had to produce a prima-facie case, which means a case that is sufficient to call for an answer. Many human rights lawyers â myself included â argue this is the best way to effectively extradite people and protect your citizensâ rights."
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