Forward: Press Release: Peace and Progress Party Announces Belmarsh prisoner as Third Candidate for General Election

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Peace and Progress, the party for Human Rights, announces today that Babar Ahmed, currently held at Belmarsh Prison without trial and undergoing Extradition proceedings, will be standing as a candidate for Brent North, a seat currently held by Labour. Date: 20th April 2005

Time: 1pm

Venue: Bow Magistrates Court, Bow Street, Covent Garden, WC2



Present: Mr and Mrs Ashaq Ahmad, Babar's parents

Mrs Mudassar Arani, Babar's lawyer

Corin Redgrave, co-founder of Peace and Progress Party





Corin Redgrave, co-founder of Peace and Progress today said:



“One of the principle human rights concerns that we, Peace and Progress have, is detention without trial. Babar Ahmad's case is a perfect example of that and how a British citizen can be arrested in this country, severely beaten and tortured by the arresting police, released by the police without charge, with no evidence to bring against him, but nevertheless face extradition to America under conditions where it is impossible for him to prove his innocence, and even face the possibility of torture and execution. It's a form of judicial kidnapping which has been agreed by Britain and America.



“As a candidate for Peace and Progress Babar Ahmed will enable a wider audience to see all the issues involved in his case and prove his innocence. A vote for Babar is a vote for justice.”

***ENDS***



For media enquires and further information please contact or Heidi Mallace or Victoria Sabin at Project Associates on +44 (0)20 432 3216 or heidi@projectassociatesltd.com or victoria@projectassociatesltd.com.



If you would like to know more about joining Peace and Progress please email sue@peaceandprogress.org. or +44 (0)7888 841586 You can also visit our website at www.peaceandprogress.org.



Fort further information on Barbar Ahmed please visit www.freebabarahmad.com



Notes to editors



Peace & Progress stands for:

British withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
Reaffirming the UK's commitment to the UN Charter, to the UN Convention on Torture, and to all the covenants and conventions of international law to which Britain is a signatory.
The enforcement of all UN resolutions concerning Israel and the Palestinians.
Disarmament of all weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological and closure of all nuclear bases leased to the US.
A halt to the arms trade.
Cancellation of all debts from the world's poorest countries.
An ethical asylum policy which honours in full Britain's commitments to the Refugee Convention, and the closure of all detention centres.
An end all internment without trial


Babar Ahmad background

Babar Ahmad is a British citizen who was born, raised and has lived his whole life in South London.

In December 2003 he was arrested by Anti-Terrorist Police who broke into his house in a pre-dawn raid. He was then brutally assaulted in front of his wife. He sustained over 50 injuries to his body, two of which were life-threatening. During this attack Babar was placed in the Muslim prayer position and asked, \\\"Where is your God now?\\\"

After six days of intensive investigation he was released WITHOUT CHARGE.

Babar filed a complaint against the police officers who assaulted him. Despite photographic evidence of his injuries, independent medical reports and eye-witness statements, the Crown Prosecution Service decided that there was \\\"insufficient evidence\\\" to prosecute any of the officers involved.

On 5th August 2004 Babar was re-arrested on an Extradition Warrant from the United States of America. He is currently held as a British Political Prisoner at Belmarsh Prison undergoing Extradition proceedings which commenced in November 2004.

Under the Extradition Act 2003 Babar cannot challenge any of the \\\"evidence\\\" against him in a British Court of Law. As a British Citizen, he should be entitled to an open fair trial in the UK. If he is extradited to the US, he will face the same gross Human and Civil Rights abuses that many experience at the hands of the US Government in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere.

In January 2005, the Independent Police Complaints Commission recommended that one of the police officers accused of beating Babar have proceedings initiated against him for \\\"excessive force\\\". In April 2005, the Police Misconduct Tribunal found that there was \\\"no case to answer\\\" and that the officer in question had acted \\\"professionally\\\" with \\\"great bravery\\\" and that \\\"he should be commended and not castigated\\\".

Babar Ahmad\\\'s continued detention is unjust and he should be released immediately and tried in a British court if there is any evidence. The Extradition Act 2003 should also be repealed as a matter of urgency.