News / Europe

    Abu Hamza Extradition From Britain to Go Ahead

    Police officers scuffle with demonstrators during a protest in support of Islamist cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, during his appeal against extradition to the U.S., outside the High Court in London, October 5, 2012.
    Police officers scuffle with demonstrators during a protest in support of Islamist cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, during his appeal against extradition to the U.S., outside the High Court in London, October 5, 2012.
    Selah Hennessy
    Muslim cleric, Abu Hamza al-Masri, leads prayers at the North London Central Mosque in Finsbury Park in this February 7, 2003 photograph.Muslim cleric, Abu Hamza al-Masri, leads prayers at the North London Central Mosque in Finsbury Park in this February 7, 2003 photograph.
    x
    Muslim cleric, Abu Hamza al-Masri, leads prayers at the North London Central Mosque in Finsbury Park in this February 7, 2003 photograph.
    Muslim cleric, Abu Hamza al-Masri, leads prayers at the North London Central Mosque in Finsbury Park in this February 7, 2003 photograph.
    Five men, including Islamist cleric Abu Hamza, are to be extradited from Britain to face terror charges in the United States.  On Friday the High Court in London rejected the men’s last-minute appeal to block their removal.

    Friday’s decision brings a drawn-out eight-year legal battle to an end.

    The most high-profile of the five is Abu Hamza, an Egyptian-born former imam, who uses a distinctive hook in place of his right hand. He is wanted in the United States on a number of charges, including attempting to set up a training camp for militants in the northwest state of Oregon and helped al-Qaida seize hostages in Yemen.

    His lawyer had argued that Hamza needed a brain scan before extradition should go ahead.

    Two of the men, Khaled al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary are accused of playing a role in the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in east Africa.

    Babar Ahmad and Syed Ahsan are wanted on charges of running a website that encouraged terrorism. The website was run out of London but hosted in the U.S.

    Ahmad’s father Ashfaq spoke outside the courthouse Friday. He said he felt let down by one of the world’s oldest democracies.

    "All the evidence against him was available in this country here so I can't understand why at he should have been sent there. He should have been tried here and that is my main message," he said.

    Britain’s Home Office welcomed the court’s decision and said it’s working to extradite the men as soon as possible.

    The U.S. Embassy in London said it was “pleased” with the decision.

    Roger Smith, director of Justice, a British human rights organization, says the extraditions have created some controversy in Britain, in part because of the U.S. prison system.

    The five men are to be sent to a so-called "supermax" prison in the state of Colorado, where the country’s most notorious terrorists are often sent.

    "One of the issues in this case was whether it was acceptable for the U.K. to send someone to the U.S. when they would be put in a supermax prison and subjected to conditions which to European eyes are frankly just not acceptable," said Smith.

    The European Human Rights Court ruled that the five men would not recieve "ill treatment" in super-maximum security prisons.
     
    Smith says another concern in Britain is that there is an imbalance in the extradition agreement between Britain and the United States.

    "We interpret it as meaning automatic extradition of people requested by the U.S. and the U.S. has a provision in its constitution which requires the proof of probable cause before someone is extradited. So it is often said that we need to re-balance the agreement," he said.

    The five men are expected to be flown to the United States immediately.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Dr. Malek Muhammad Towghi from: USA
    October 05, 2012 7:34 PM
    President Obama, Please, Keep them all, Abu Hamza & Co., in Gitmo. By the way, "nikos from NY", You are talking nonsense. We love our president, President Barack Obama, and will elect him for FOUR MORE YEARS. Sorry ! you will have to pay a little bit more taxes for enjoying the citizenship of this great country IF among the top-one-percent ! Peace.

    by: Harbinger from: UK
    October 05, 2012 4:49 PM
    amazing how short an interval of time it was from the declaration of an "open society" to a Muslim conquest of Britain... we feel besieged in our own country... the concentrated depravity of Islam permeates throughout our society... what can we do to save our country???

    by: Ed from: Seattle, WA
    October 05, 2012 4:10 PM
    Republicans hate to see it, but yet another success for President Obama. He is on a roll lately.

    by: Rob Swift from: United Kingdom
    October 05, 2012 4:04 PM
    Mr Hamza is certainly not a proper moslem. Everything he does is a violation of the Koran. He is a man of violence only.

    by: dogbreath from: California
    October 05, 2012 3:49 PM
    If Romney is elected the Republicans can lie to us, invade the wrong country, get us in two protracted and expensive wars, crash the economy, dump the mess in the lap of the next president, and then try to block every attempt to remedy the mess they create. Must sound good to you nikos.

    by: KMcK from: NYC
    October 05, 2012 3:42 PM
    It is a tragedy US tax dollars will be used to feed, bath and cloth this animal, and the like, for the rest of his life. As a democracy I believe that "We the people..." should have a say/vote as to what the terrorists' fate will be once they are extradited. It is likely they would be justifiably treated as mercilessly as they treated the innocents slaughtered on 9/11....let's take a vote!

    by: Cleanup Philly from: Philly
    October 05, 2012 3:19 PM
    Welcome to freedom, hook boy. Not your own.

    Don't worry, after Romney gets elected, they'll get the full due process of law.

    by: nikos from: NY
    October 05, 2012 1:27 PM
    Have no fear, Obama will take good care of him, I think he is already writing his apology letters for this to the Muslims of the world- apologizing for arresting this man of peace, tolerance and love.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora