This project focuses on the extradition of British citizens to the US. On 5 October 2012, 5 men were extradited from Britain to the US. Amongst these men were computer expert Babar Ahmad and poet and aspiring librarian Talha Ahsan. Although both men did not face any charges in the UK, they have been detained in British prisons without trial for respectively 8 and 6 years until they were both extradited to the US. Awaiting trial for alleged involvement in a website supporting Chechen and Taliban fighters, both men are currently detained in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day at the high security Northern Correctional Institution in Connecticut.
Less then 2 weeks after their extradition, Home Secretary Theresa May decided to prevent the extradition of computer hacker Gary McKinnon, despite his confession to the crime of hacking into computers belonging to the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Department of Defense and NASA.
The outcome of these cases and the ways in which they have been discussed in parliament, the media and in campaigns, shows that perceptions of the guilty and the innocent -although often expressed in terms of legality- relate to wider debates on race, disability and citizenship.
Through analysing parliamentary debates, newspaper articles and the various campaigns organized against the extradition, this project aims to shed light on the underlying processes that led to the unequal outcomes of the extradition practices in 2012. Furthermore, we will look at ways in which citizenship has been used in the campaigns both in favor of and against extradition. By doing so, we hope to contribute to the debate and to strengthen the campaigns against unfair extradition practices.
The project will entail:
- Writing publications: both academic and popular (blog entries and newspaper articles)
- Organizing seminar(s)/workshop(s) engaging scholars and activists from various groups