After 6 years of highlighting the inequity inherent in our extradition legislation, campaigners are delighted that, through Dominic Raab MP’s persistence, a debate has NOW been secured this coming Monday 5th December. Parliament’s Backbench Business Committee have now scheduled a full debate on extradition with a vote to take place in the Main Chamber of the House of Commons at 3pm where all MPs can attend.
Although the motion does not specifically mention Richard’s case by name, it does present a unique opportunity for MPs to attend the debate and vote in favour of changing the law such that it will prevent the extradition of Richard and others facing extradition to the US.
Please Support Richard and Others Facing Extradition to the US for alleged "crime" or "conduct which has taken place in the UK
- Please e mail your MP To Find Your MP
- Remember to include your full address on your e mail
- Please see sample letter below which can be personalised as you wish
Dear (INSERT MP NAME)
It has come to my attention that a debate on reforming our extradition laws to strengthen the protection of British citizens is to take place on Monday 5 December 2011 in the Main Chamber at 3pm. As your constituent, I am writing to request that you attend this debate and vote in favour of the motion that calls for a reform of the extradition laws in line with the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Human RightsThe motion is as follows: “That this House calls upon the Government to reform the UK’s extradition arrangements as a matter of urgency to strengthen the protection of British citizens: by introducing a Bill in Parliament to enact the safeguards recommended by the Joint Committee on Human Rights in its Fifteenth Report of 2010-12, and by pursuing such amendments to the UK-US Extradition Treaty 2003 and the EU Council Framework Decision 2002 on the European Arrest Warrant as are necessary in order to give effect to such recommendations.”
The UK-US Extradition Treaty 2003 is imbalanced and allows British citizens accused of crimes allegedly committed in the UK to be extradited to the US without the US authorities having to demonstrate a prima facie case and without a UK trial being considered as the correct "Forum". A wide range of people from different backgrounds have found themselves ensnared by the Treaty including corporate bankers, terror suspects, alleged computer hackers and most recently a 23yr old University Student, Richard O'Dwyer on a charge of copyright infringement.
I would like you to speak at the debate and call for any changes in the law to apply to pending cases. It would appear immoral to allow individuals to be extradited under a Treaty which is subsequently agreed by our parliament to be so unfair such that it requires amendment.
I am aware that Sir Scott Baker recently said at a Lawyers debate on extradition that the government if it wishes to do so can apply any changes made to the extradition arrangements retrospectively. In other words there is no reason why pending cases should not benefit from any amendments to the Extradition arrangements.
In particular, I would like you to mention the case of Richard O’Dwyer, the 23yr old Hallam University Student accused of copyright infringement for making a website which provided links to films elsewhere on the internet. His actual website held no infringing content at all
There are other pending cases of UK citizens being pursued aggressively by the US over “alleged” crimes committed on UK soil. One of those is the case of Babar Ahmad who has been imprisoned here in the UK for over 7 years without charge after first being brutally assaulted by the UK Police. Babar Ahmads supporters recently submitted a government e petition with over 141,000 signatures calling for a Trial in the UK rather than being extradited to the US. Gary Mckinnon’s case you should be well aware of, again being sought for “crimes” committed on UK soil and to which Gary has already admitted, along with the case of retired businessman Christopher Tappin again accused of offences occurring on UK soil. Non of the above mentioned are seeking to evade justice they are merely asking that the correct place for any trial be in the UK where they were at all times and where any "alleged offences" took place.
• The JCHR called for the UK’s extradition laws to be amended to prevent the extradition of UK citizens in circumstances where the domestic authorities had decided not to prosecute them.
This is a crucial opportunity for Parliament to fix a law with unintended consequences. I am urging all MPs, particularly those with constituents whose lives have been blighted by the impact of the US/UK Treaty and the European Arrest Warrant, to attend on Monday and demonstrate their support for change. MPs missed their chance in 2006 to get this right. After 5 more years of injustice, perhaps they won’t make the same mistake again.So, for the likes of Richard O’Dwyer, Gary McKinnon, Christopher Tappin, Babar Ahmad and potentially countless others unless the current system is rectified, MPs must grab this golden opportunity now.In Richard O’Dwyer’s case the DPP has already stated that “the matter was not and still is not considered to be in the category of serious”. Extradition in this case is total disproportionate to the “crime” and it is beyond belief that the UK would allow extradition to take place for what has been described as not serious.
I urge you, as my elected voice in parliament, to attend this important debate and vote in favour of changing the extradition laws such that they offer greater protection to British citizens such as Richard, Gary, Chris and Babar.
Please respond to me with a copy of any correspondence or representations that you make regarding this matter.
(Insert Name & Address)