Friday, 28 August 2009

'Don't let Gary go' American Civil Liberties Union joins calls to stop unfair extradition

ACLU writes to the Foreign Secretary criticising extradition treaty between UK and US

(London – 27 August 2009) – The American Civil Liberties Union today wrote to the David Miliband expressing their concern about extradition arrangements between Britain and America. In a letter from the Executive Director Anthony Romero to the Foreign Secretary, the civil liberties group state:

“…that all people facing extradition either to or from the US should only be sent to face trial in a foreign country after there has been meaningful judicial review”

The ACLU support for Gary McKinnon comes on the same day that Liberty staged a protest outside the American Embassy and presented the new American Ambassador with a hamper welcoming him to his new role. The hamper contained a letter from Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, the ACLU letter, ‘don’t let Gary go’ paper planes from the protest, a copy of the Magna Carta and the Human Rights Act as well as produce representing the countries of the United Kingdom.

Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty said:

"The intervention of Liberty's sister, the American Civil Liberties Union, proves that Britain's Extradition Act is an international embarrassment. Vulnerable people like Gary McKinnon can be bundled off to other countries when they ought to be dealt with at home.

Janice Sharp's campaign for fairness for her son Gary has touched the hearts of parents everywhere. If Parliament doesn't amend Britain's rotten Extradition Act to put discretion and common sense back into the system, other vulnerable sons and daughters are bound to suffer."

Liberty, who campaign against unfair extradition in all its forms, argues that where conduct constituting a crime occurs in the UK then a British court should be allowed to refuse extradition if it’s in the interests of justice to do so. Liberty also holds that the requesting country should have to make out the case for extradition in a British court before the request is granted.

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