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Release Talha Ahsan From Prison - Four years, three months behind bars

Never charged with any crime / Never committed any crime

Talha Ahsan is a British-born poet and writer with Asperger syndrome is facing extradition to America. If convicted he will spend 70 years in "supermax" solitary confinement at ADX Florence.

Talha Ahsan was arrested at home on 19th July 2006 pursuant to a warrant under the controversial Extradition Act 2003 whereby no prima facie evidence is required to support a request.

He is accused of terrorism-related offences between 1997-2004 based upon a series of web sites one of whose servers happened to be in America amongst other countries. He denies all charges.

The enormity of the claims is not commensurate with the facts:

- Talha Ahsan is a British citizen who has never been to America.

- He has a condition called Asperger syndrome which has caused him a history of difficulties since childhood.

- He has never been arrested or questioned by British police despite a number of men being so from his local area in December 2003 for similar allegations. All of them were released without charge.

- One of them, <>Babar Ahmad, was later compensated £60,000 by the Metropolitan police after a civil case in March 2009 for the violent physical and racist abuse during his arrest leaving 73 injuries and bleeding in his ears and urine. In August 2010 a number of officers were finally charged with assault and are now waiting trial.

[Ahsan's case is alleged conspiracy with Babar Ahmad. He was arrested on an extradition warrant from the US in July 2006, using primarily the same evidence taken by the Metropolitan police from Ahmad's house nearly three years before and given to the US. The years in the claustrophobic small wing for deportation cases in Long Lartin prison have seemingly had very serious effects of major depression on a young man who was vulnerable well before all this happened to him.

The British government must move decisively to protect its citizens from the unfair US/UK extradition treaty of 2003 - <> The Dickensian world of extradition]

- It was "evidence" from that incident which formed the basis of arrest for Talha Ahsan 312 years later, after Mr Ahmad had lost his own extradition case at the High Court in July 2006.

- The British police returned all computers taken from the Ahsan household with all contents intact.

- There exists a legal basis for prosecution in the UK from the Court of Appeal case of R. v. Sheppard and Whittle in January 2010. The appellants were charged with possession, publication and distribution (via the internet) of racially inflammatory material. They argued that the US was more appropriate than the UK for prosecution as the websites were hosted in California. Instead the Court of Appeal considered the following factors as key to the appropriateness of prosecution in the UK:

a.  whether "a substantial measure of the activities constituting the crime take place in England';

b. whether the website in question was "operated and controlled' from with the UK, "and was loaded, maintained and controlled' from within the UK;

c. whether the material on the website was written and edited within the UK, and collated and selected within the UK.

- He is currently in the final stage of proceedings at the European Court of Human Rights.

- He has now served the equivalent of an 8 year sentence at a high security prison without trial.

- There is much more that is troubling about these cases in addition to police brutality: questioning of Guantanamo detainees about the allegations; torture of a relative in Pakistan; and bugging of prison visits from a local MP. Indeed there may be other disturbing details waiting to surface.

- Both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have expressed opposition to these extradition arrangements before the elections.

- The Ahsan family believe that terrorism can be tackled without compromising the sovereignty of British citizenship or betraying a sense of justice.

- He is represented by Ms Gareth Peirce of Birnberg Peirce & Partners. She can be contacted via her P A, Ms Elli Petrohilos, at 020 7911 0166 and

Before his arrest he was in the middle of reading Franz Kafka's The Trial- he has yet to complete it ...

Letters/cards of Solidarity/Support:
Talha Ahsan
HMP Long Lartin
WR11 8TZ

Inquiries/further information:  /

The Ahsan family thank you for supporting their son

Last updated 2 November, 2010