- Date of event : 16th May 2013, 6pm - 9pm
- Location : Kings College, Room S-2.08, King’s Building, Strand, London WC2R 2LS
- Event web page here
- All are welcome. Tickets are free.
- Click here for eventbrite details
Babar Ahmad is Talha’s co-defendant. Before he was extradited, he was detained without trial for over 8 years, the longest period of detention without trial faced by any prisoner in British history. An e-petition to have his trial in the UK gathered over 149,000 signatures. See the site Free Babar Ahmad for more information.
Special guests from the USA James Ridgeway and Jean Casella, directors of Solitary Watch, and Amnesty International’s Tessa Murphy will discuss the issues in a human rights framework. James Ridgeway and media editor Jean Casella co-founded Solitary Watch in 2009, in order to "bring the widespread practice of solitary confinement out of the shadows and into the light of the public square." Their work has helped to fuel a growing national movement opposing the use of solitary in U.S. prisons, jails, juvenile facilities, and immigrant detention centers.
There is ample evidence in the USA and elsewhere that prolonged confinement to a cell with social isolation can cause serious physical and psychological harm. Concerns about such impact are heightened with regard to individuals, like some of those extradited, who have pre-existing medical conditions or mental disabilities. (Full statement available here).
Special guest James Ridgeway said :
Supermax prisons and solitary confinement units are America's domestic black sites, these are places where genuine torture takes place.
People in the UK should care about what happens in American supermax prisons, just as they care about what happens at Guantanamo... [because] British nationals are now being extradited to the U.S. to face decades of torture in solitary confinement.Aseem Mehta, co-director of Worst of the Worst, said :
In making the film, we listened to all of the actors whose lives were touched by supermax - the inmates in solitary, the guards who report for duty each day, the policymakers and officials who oversee the facility, the architect whose legacy has become the prison, the family members and friends whose loved ones are inside, the lawyers and advocates who navigate the law that governs the prison's logic. We came away with the conclusion that the institution harms everyone who it touches, that everyone who enters Northern ultimately leaves damaged.The event host is Dr. Ian Patel of International State Crime Intitiative. Dr. Patel is in the law department at King's College London. He specialises in criminal justice, criminal law, and international human rights. He is a fellow at the International State Crime Initiative. His recent article on Talha Ahsan case and prolonged solitary confinement was published in the New Statesman here.
- 25 minute Extradition Film now online about Talha Ahsan & Babar Ahmad
- The Free Talha Ahsan Campaign www.freetalha.org and Facebook page and YouTube channel