Babar Ahmad and Extradition, European Court of Human Rights

Today the Chamber judgment of the ECHR came down in the case of Babar Ahmad and Others v. United Kingdom, application
nos. 24027/07, 11949/08, 36742/08, 66911/09 and 67354/09, dated 10 April 2012. This case concerns six alleged international terrorist detained in the UK, including the often-publicized case of Mustafa Kamal Mustafa (also known as Abu Hamza), The main points of the decision include the following:

"…no violation of Article 3 [of the European Convention on Human Rights (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment) of
the European Convention on Human Rights as a result of conditions of detention at ADX
Florence (a “supermax” prison in the United States) – if Mr Ahmad, Mr Ahsan, Mr Abu
Hamza, Mr Bary and Mr Al-Fawwaz were extradited to the USA; and,

no violation of Article 3 of the Convention as a result of the length of their possible
sentences if Mr Ahmad, Mr Ahsan, Abu Hamza, Mr Bary and Mr Al-Fawwaz were
extradited."
 

Issues of conditions in detention after trial under death penalty and life- without- parole circumstances have been controversial in European human rights case law (protocol no. 6 of the European Human Rights treaty abolished the death penalty).  It is important to note that this judgment is not final because there is a further procedure, with time limits, for referral to a Grand Chamber, which may take up the referral for further examination and final judgment, or decline to do so, making this decision the final one. The court considers, but is not bound by, its precedents. The treaty, formally known as the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and its protocols, are posted at the Treaty Office of the Council of Europe.

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