US wins right to extradite any European citizen it deems a terrorist.
EU Court of Human Rights grants US Extradition Claims, Ignores Human Rights Act
Ryan Jones – April 11th 2012.
Yesterday the European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg ruled that the USA has the legal right to extradite Abu Hamza and 4 other suspected of terrorism. Upon first glance at this recent breaking news, the casual observer may think ‘well, the terrorists are being brought to justice for their crimes'.
These men are UK citizens. They have been detained under the terrorism act, accused of various crimes, not all of which have come to trial. Since their initial detainment, while being accused of a crime, but not actually being convicted, they have already been imprisoned for 4 years. What is in store next for this lucky group? The US Patriot Act, under which these men will now be imprisoned, justifies indefinite detention without trial of suspected terrorists.
What are the implications of this case? With the recent passing of the NDAA by the Obama administration in the USA, which declares the entire Earth 'a battlefield against terrorism', US citizens, if declared a "terrorist" by the US Federal government can be detained indefinitely, without the right to visitation, a trial, proper diet, and should probably also expect physical and psychological torture.
What does British Prime Minister David Cameron have to say about this?
"I am very pleased with the news. It is quite right that we have proper legal processes, although sometimes one can get frustrated with how long they take."
So why isn’t the British PM too worried about the violation of these British Citizen's human rights (as per the Human Rights Act 1998)?
Many Britons may have forgotten, but this is a man who just last year has openly spoken out against human rights for criminals. Now it appears that he does also not seem to care if the US wants to arrest its citizens and ship them off to prison overseas.
The details of the crimes of the accused are not the issue. The stance that the British people should be taking is, “their crimes are irrelevant, and under British law they should be entitled to due process, and afforded all the legal protections of British citizens".
It is the actions being taken against them and the precedent that this sets. If these rights can be usurped in this case, how long before the next case?
According to various sources, the USA currently has some 800 prison camps sitting across the country, still unoccupied.
How many people could be detained in these camps is not definitive, but various articles across the internet speculate that the total could be well over a million.
Couple this with the recent string of executive orders that the Obama administration has passed declaring that they if they so decide, they have the right (not even in an emergency) to take control of all the infrastructure of the US, including power, food production, water supply, amongst others. There are currently 109 definitions for ‘terrorism’ under US law . The term is extremely subjective, and deliberately so. This way, if something you do upsets their agenda, the US Government can automatically declare you an 'enemy combatant' or 'terror suspect'.
How long before computer hackers and video editors from the group known as Anonymous are declared terrorists and seized by the US authorities indefinitely?
How long before the Occupy group is declared a 'threat to the US government' and non-violent young students, or unemployed workers, or teachers protesting austerity measures start being rounded up?
How long before workers union members are declared terrorists for threatening a strike, or public workers for protesting against government imposed austerity measures?
How long before writing about, or reporting on, such events gets you put on a 'terror watch list'?
These are the implications of this case. This case has shown that from this point onwards, no one in Europe is now safe from the US government, if the US government considers that person a terrorist. No one in the US is safe from its own government if the US government considers them a terrorist.
And, possibly worst of all: the British Public appear to be pleased with this result. A poll by the UK Guardian asked “Did Human rights judges make the right decision [regarding the Abu Hamza case]?” The result at the time of this writing is a 71.8% “yes” vote.
Maybe it's time to start learning Russian?