Extradite me, I’m British

 
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Date/Time
Date(s) - 08/09/2012
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm

Location
Rich Mix cafe

Category(ies)


Brother of British Extradition detainee presents Cultural Event on US-UK Extradition laws

Hamja Ahsan, the brother of Extradition detainee Talha Ahsan will be curating a Cultural Event on US-UK Extradition laws – currently affecting British citizens Babar Ahmad, Richard O’Dwyer and Gary Mckinnon.

The event is being held at London’s “Rich Mix” venue from 7pm – 11pm, 8th September.

It will be opened by a specially recorded video message from Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti, who earlier stated: “Never were justice and the law so out of sync as in the case of Britain’s rotten extradition arrangements. No one should be sent anywhere – be it the US, Europe or elsewhere – without good reason and without a case first being made in a local court.”

The event is titled “Extradite Me, I’m British” after an iconic campaign T-shirt designed by Arts Against Extraditions collective.

The programme of film, prison poetry, talks, drama, comedy and nasheeds  explores questions at the at the heart of British identity: what it means to be a British citizen, the erosion of civil liberties, human rights in a post-9/11 era, British Sovereignty and its big brother relations with America.

The treaty was a creation of the  Blair-Bush partnership that allows British citizens to be spirited away to the US — and its out-of-control judicial system — without the US having to provide any evidence, even if the alleged crimes took place in the UK.

Comedian and actor Jeff Mirza will be reading Talha’s comic love sonnet to Theresa May.

Other guests include awarding winning novelist A.L Kennedy; David Bermingham  (one of the “Natwest Three”), former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg, journalist Victoria Brittain and comedian Ahir Shah, fresh from the Edinburgh Festival

Hamja Ahsan, a curator and artist by profession said:

“This is a National emergency human rights event. Along with British independent sovereignty, the most elementary civil rights are being destroyed with this law: Habeas Corpus, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, access to family, and above all, the very first duty of government to protect it’s own citizens. Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmad, already detained for years without trial or prima-facie evidence,  may be extradited to pre-trial solitary confinement in the USA imminently”

In a statement of support, novelist A. L. Kennedy said: “That Talha has been imprisoned for years without trial in my country shames me as a UK citizen… That my government would give Talha no assistance in a time of absolute need and would, in fact, help engineer his distress is another indication of its utterly reckless, unsustainable and inhuman stance on human rights.”

On the Extradition cases, Jeff Mirza stated: “This law needs to change. People of all races, cultures, classes and religions need to stand up and say ‘No’ to this.”

More information
Contact: info@freetalha.org Additional Photographs & Images available on request.
Or Hamja Ahsan, curator & producer of the event: hamjaahsan@gmail.com
Mobile: 07542993012

Notes for Editors

1. “Extradite Me, I’m British”  will be held on 8th September, 7pm – 11pm at Rich Mix, London, 35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA. Tickets (£5) are available at
http://www.richmix.org.uk/whats-on/event/extradite-me-im-british/

2. Talha Ahsan, 32, British Citizen has been detained without trial since 19th July 2006. He was arrested under the controversial Extradition Act 2003, for as co-defendant of the long standing Babar Ahmed case on allegations relating to the defunct Qoqaz and Azzam websites from 1997-2001 covering Chechen  and Afghan insurgents. He is currently in the final stage of proceedings at the European Court of Human Rights. He denies any wrongdoing. For further information please visit http://www.freetalha.org

3. A.L Kennedy’s article “Solitary Confinement is no place for a Poet” can be found at
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/may/09/solitary-confinement-talha-ahsan-poet

4. David Bermingham – one of the “Natwest Three” – is an expert witness against the Extradition treaty and author of “Price to Pay” must-read book about Extradition ordeal

5. Moazzam Begg (former Guantanamo Detainee) is author of “Enemy Combatant” and an activist for detainees

6. Victoria Brittain is a journalist & author of plays “Guatanamo” & “Meaning of Waiting”

7. UK Apache NKA Abdul Wahhab feat. Ahmed will be performing the Babar Ahmed national petition nasheed live. The anthem of landmark 149,000 signature petition

8. Arts Against Extraditions – designers of the “Extradite Me, I’m British” T-shirt – is a collective of artists & creatives fighting against extraditions & for civil liberties. Online video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPuHTPVHnQE&feature=related

9. The event will include a screening of “EXTRADITION” -a 30 minute film about Talha Ahsan & Babar Ahmad featuring Gareth Peirce & poet Avaes Mohammad, framed around Talha Ahsan prison poetry

10. Special video messages will be shown from Shami Chakrabarti (LIBERTY), Riz Ahmed (Filmstar, 4 Lions, Road to Guantanamo, Ill Manors) and Robert King (Angola 3 from USA)

11. Manjinder Virk  (Award-winning Actress star of Britz, The Arbor) and comedian Ahir Shah will be performing. Ahir Shah will be fresh from Edinburgh Festival, as seen on Channel 4 and BBC Newsnight. Hackney Empire New Act of the Year Finalist

 
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