Posts Tagged ‘action alert’

Action Alert : Stop Baltasar Garzons Nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize

Background

 Judge Baltasar Garzon has recently been feted as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize, and rumours are circulating that he has received several nominations from human rights groups. This is allegedly for his services to reconciliation of the Argentinian ‘disappeared’, as well as condemning Guantamo bay.

 However, this proposed nomination is a hypocritical one. He has condemned the lack of due process at Guantanamo Bay, but sees no problem in attempting to try former inmates of the Naval Gulag such as Omar Degayhes and Jamil al-Banna. It was only after immense public pressure that he agreed to drop the extradition request, however this was because of ‘ill health’ rather than acknowledgement from Garzon that there were no real charges to face.

He has also in the past attempted to extradite General Pinochet for human rights abuses committed in Chile. However, he has had no qualms with extraditing people in order that Spain may commit human rights abuses, such as the case of Farid Hilali.

Farid himself said in a letter to his UK Solicitors ( received a month after his detention and illegal extradition ) the following :-

 “I have so many problems here. They took my English money and other property as well. They have taken my legal documents; they say I can not be allowed to have these in the segregation unit. They also try to put me in this segregation unit as a punishment and to limit my access to the solicitor and my family and the outside world. No one explained anything to me and I am not treated well here…”

 “.. I spend 22 hours in the cell, I go for a walk in the yard alone always, there is no one to talk to, I am completely shut off from the outside world. How can I prepare my case and give instructions to my solicitor if I am not even allowed to have my legal documents. This is against my human rights i.e. the right to effectively prepare a defence and to have a fair trial.”

Garzon also aggressively pursued the prosecution and trial of Argentinians responsible for the ‘disappeared’ under the Military Junta of 1981, for crimes against humanity. He frequently spoke out against the crimes committed by the dictatorship during that period.

However, he also committed similar infringements of freedom and rights to association by banning Basque separatist paries including Batasuna, He referred to members of this political party as “human garbage”, presumably for daring to have a dissenting voice against the Spanish Government. During this same period of 2002 onwards, he also banned the right of political parties to campaign against Spains constitution or political structure.

There are so many reasons for Garzon to not receive the Nobel Peace Prize, however one of the strongest arguments much surely be for his utter contempt for basic freedoms and rights such as a fair trial. In Farid Hilali’s case, he instructed his deputy, Pedro Rubira, to pursue a case against him even though there was no case to answer. Rubira even submitted an allegedly perjurious witness statement to the British Court. Farid Hilali, an innocent Moroccan asylum seeker seeking protection from torture, was extradited illegally based on the quest for fame and fortune on the part of Garzon and Rubira. Since his extradition, he was denied access to his legal papers, denied access to funds, denied access to his lawyers, and many other measures all designed to frustrate his defence.

 

Judge Garzon is not someone worthy to stand with Nelson Mandela, Lech Walesa or Martin Luther King on the Laureates roll of honour. Instead, Garzon should be castigated for his assault on ethnic and religious minorities. He is a man for whom fame must come at any price, even when that price is the erosion of basic rights and liberties. We intend to oppose the nomination of Judge Garzon, and would urge all others to do the same.

How to Help

Please write to the Nobel Peace Prize committee, to ensure that Judge Garzon is not given this award. Please also visit the freefarid.com website to stay up to date with Farid Hilali’s campaign and the assault on his human rights by Pedro Rubira and Judge Baltasar Garzon.

Key Contacts

Geir Lundestad,DirectorThe Norwegian Nobel Institute

Henrik Ibsens Gate 51

NO-0255 OSLO

Norway

T: +47 22 12 93 00 

F: +47 22 12 93 10

 

Ole Danbolt Mjos, Committee MemberThe Norwegian Nobel Institute

Henrik Ibsens Gate 51

NO-0255 OSLO

Norway

T: +47 22 12 93 00 

F: +47 22 12 93 10

 

Berge Ragnar Furre, Committee MemberThe Norwegian Nobel Institute

Henrik Ibsens Gate 51

NO-0255 OSLO

Norway

T: +47 22 12 93 00 

F: +47 22 12 93 10

 

Sissel Marie Ronbeck, Committee MemberThe Norwegian Nobel Institute

Henrik Ibsens Gate 51

NO-0255 OSLO

Norway

T: +47 22 12 93 00 

F: +47 22 12 93 10

 

Inger-Marie Ytterhorn, Committee MemberThe Norwegian Nobel Institute

Henrik Ibsens Gate 51

NO-0255 OSLO

Norway

T: +47 22 12 93 00 

F: +47 22 12 93 10

 

Kaci Kullman Five, Committee MemberThe Norwegian Nobel Institute

Henrik Ibsens Gate 51

NO-0255 OSLO

Norway

T: +47 22 12 93 00 

F: +47 22 12 93 10

 

Sample letter

Dear <NAME>,

 It is with dismay that I have read the Judge Baltasar Garzon may be under consideration for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. I, as someone deeply concerned about human rights and someone who supports the rights of ethnic and religious minorities to live in peace, object to this nomination as an affront to the spirit of the Nobel Prize.

·         He has condemned the lack of due process at Guantanamo Bay, but saw no problem in attempting to try former inmates of the Naval Gulag such as Omar Degayhes and Jamil al-Banna. It was only after immense public pressure that he agreed to drop the extradition request, however this was because of ‘ill health’ rather than acknowledgement from Garzon that there were no real charges to face.

  • From 2002 onwards, he has banned the right of political parties to campaign against Spain’s constitution or political structure.
  • In Farid Hilali’s case, he instructed his deputy, Pedro Rubira, to pursue a case against him even though there was no case to answer

 There are so many reasons for Garzon to not receive the Nobel Peace Prize, however one of the strongest arguments much surely be for his utter contempt for basic freedoms and rights such as a fair trial. Farid Hilali was extradited despite no evidence being heard against him to this date. He has since arriving in Spain been kept in extremely harsh conditions, with his legal defence frequently being deliberately frustrated.

I could list far more examples of why Garzon is not a suitable candidate, however I have omitted these for the sake of brevity. I would urge you as committee members to refuse this nomination in order to defend the honour and tradition of not only the Nobel Prize, but that of fairness, honesty and justice. 

Regards,

<NAME>

Source : The FreeFarid.com Campaign

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Farid Hilali Wrongfully Extradited

Farid Hilali was extradited to Spain on February 8th 2008, after the House of Lords ruled that he may be sent under the terms of the European Arrest Warrant. This was in spite of a number of irregularities with the warrant, not least that it was reliant upon phone evidence that had previously been deemed inadmissible within the Spanish judicial system.
 
The British courts held that he may be extradited, but only on the basis of the charges against him. When Arani Solicitors contested that there was no case to answer, the House of Lords unfortunately ruled that it was a matter of ‘trust’ with the Spanish Government that he would only be tried on the charges to which he was extradited, and that it was not for the British Government to question the evidence before extradition.
   
Hours after arriving in Spain via military transport, the Spanish Government reneged on this promise and issue of trust. They have indicated that they will try him for being a member of a proscribed organisation, of which no mention was made in the European Arrest Warrant.
Indeed, the House of Lords explicitly stated in Paragraph 29 of their judgement that this would not be an extraditable offence under the specialty rule:-
     
the Spanish prosecutor, Mr Rubira, states in several places in his witness statement that the respondent remains accused of participation in a terrorist organisation. It was important to make it plain in the extradition order that this was not an offence for which the respondent can be prosecuted as he is entitled to the protection of the specialty rule with regard to it”
      
The Spanish Government have therefore deliberately misled the British Courts in giving assurances that he would not be charged in relation to membership offences, then within hours of his extradition reneging on this assurance.
     
Farid Hilali is now at severe risk of torture and illegal detention in Madrid , Spain , and as of yet Arani Solicitors have not even been informed of his location. Torture is widespread within Spain , and it has been criticised by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and many other human rights organisations. Just last month, the following by a prisoner was recorded:-
     
“..They said that there, in Madrid , I would really find out what was what…That Guardia Civil told me that nobody knew I had been arrested and that he could easily shoot me. He said that their only remit was to torture and interrogate… In one day and a half they had made me do thousands of stand-ups. At the same time they would hit me on the sides and top of my head, with an object that could be a phone directory or a truncheon made out of rubber. When they hit me with that “phone directory”, I saw sort of lights. They put a bag over my head and stuck something like tobacco smoke into it. They would close the bag to cause me to suffocate…”
      
The above would appear to be from the most violent of third-world dictatorships, and certainly not from an EU member State which is a signatory to numerous human rights obligations yet continues to breach them. It is inconceivable that Britain could accept the extradition based upon ‘trust’ from a country which operates institutionalised torture, wrongful arrest and even its own prosecutor, Pedro Rubira commits perjury. 
   
ACTIONS NEEDED
  
Farid Hilali needs your help more than ever now, as this case has serious implications not only for Farid but for all persons whom are less fortunate and oppressed. There has been a media blackout regarding this case in the United Kingdom , and it is essential that protests, letters and complaints are made to the addresses attached, of which a sample letter of complaint is also provided.
     
Please take action as soon as possible to stop this travesty of justice going further than it already has, and demand that Farid be freed forthwith.
    
KEY CONTACTS
     
Please send letters of complaint to the addresses listed here. Please also personalise the letter template provided below, or compose your own.
Sir Ken Macdonald QC
Director of Public Prosecution
50 Ludgate Hill
London
EC4M 7EX
FAX: 0207 710 3447
Tribunal Supremo De Espana
Pza. de la Villa de Paris s/n
Madrid 28071
Tel :  0091 397 1200
Spanish Embassy
39 Chesham Place
London
SW1X 8SB
Tel  : 0207 235 5555
Fax : 0207 259 5392
Crown Prosecution Service
50 Ludgate Hill
London
EC4M 7EX
Tel  : 0207 796 8500
Fax : 0207 796 8680
    
LETTER TEMPLATE:-
     
Dear <NAME>
     
I write to you in relation to the case of Farid Hilali who was extradited to Spain on a false premise based upon the European Arrest warrant filed in the United Kingdom by the Spanish Prosecutors office.
    
Mr Hilali was extradited on the basis of ‘trust’ between the United Kingdom and Spain , and that this extradition was in relation to conspiracy to Murder. It was deemed in British Courts that membership of an illegal organisation would not be an extraditable offence under the specialty rules.
     
Despite this, the Spanish Prosecutor has now detained him on the basis of illegal membership, even though this was explicitly prohibited by the United Kingdom . This is therefore a breach of the ‘trust’ that the United Kingdom accorded the Spanish Government, and a breach of Mr Hilali’s fundamental human rights.
     
Farid Hilali is also at risk of torture whilst detained from Spain . Indeed Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Cageprisoners and many internal Spanish human rights organisations have condemned Spain for their treatment of political suspects and internees.
     
I therefore urge that you demand that the Spanish Prosecutor end the illegal detention of Farid Hilali and release him immediately. I would also urge that the Spanish Government free Farid, and  exonerate him of all false charges and allow him to resume his life with his family.
     
I thank you for taking the time to read this letter; I trust you will now investigate the issues raised within it.
    
I look forward to hearing from you in due course.
     
Regards,
   
   
<NAME>
     
   
===== END =========

Action Alert: Protest Farid Hilali’s Extradition

Farid Hilali is a Moroccan national who has lived in Britain at various times for over 15 years. He was detained in the United Arab Emirates in 1999 where he was asked to be an informant by the British security services. He believes that he was detained and tortured for precisely this reason. The UAE authorities forcibly repatriated him to Morocco, where his and his families lives were made “hell”, in the words of his solicitors in Morocco. This involved being arrested, tortured and interrogated day and night without notice, his family being threatened, and many other abuses. He returned to the United Kingdom in 2001, and a few years later on the 3rd September 2003 was arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000, at which point he made an application for asylum, fearing a return to Morocco.

He was then subjected to a European arrest warrant on the part of Spain, alleging that he was in part responsible for conspiracy to Murder in relation to the attacks upon the United States on the 11th September 2001. The basis of this allegation was based upon vague interpretations of intercepted telephone communication.

The Spanish Prosecutor Mr Pedro Rubira has made false statements to British Courts to substantiate these allegations. He stated that he was involved in the ‘Hamburg Cell’ and wanted in Germany. In documents provided to Farids’ solicitors, the German Prosecutors office, it is stated that “There is no investigation, with respect to the terror attacks of 11th September 2001 against Farid Hilali (or ‘Shakur’ / ‘Shukri’). The investigations carried out in this connection did not give any indication that Hilali was a member of the terrorist organisation of Mohammed Atta in Hamburg or had supported this organisation.”

Mr Rubira also stated that he has been identified as a member of a terrorist cell in Spanish courts, however no such transcripts of court statements exist to substantiate this. The Madrid Bar Association has compiled a report against Mr Rubira to this effect.

Despite all the incidents mentioned, Farid has now been authorised to be extradited to Spain under the terms of the European Arrest Warrant. In Spain, he risks being deported to Morocco or suffering torture and ill-treatment at the hands of the Spanish Prison system. Both of these occurrences are likely, and documented by Amnesty International and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture.

It is a matter of urgency that protests from the Muslim community are made to prevent this through the seeking of an injunction from the European Court of Human Rights. I urge all readers to phone, fax, email and write to all the persons detailed in “key contacts” in order to facilitate this, as it is quite literally a matter of life and death for Farid Hilali.

There are many ways in order to help Farid Hilali and prevent his extradition. It is imperative that you carry out as many actions as possible, as his health and indeed his life is in grave danger. All of these actions do have an effect. If the situation is highlighted in the correct manner with as much exposure as possible, there is every chance that the European and British Courts are obliged to review the evidence in more detail as a matter of public interest.

Actions Required :-

· Write letters and make phone calls to the European Court of Human Rights, asking

them to prevent the deportation

· Write and phone the Spanish Embassy, asking them to halt the extradition

proceedings

· Write to Farid, and send him messages of support. Details can be provided upon

request.

· At the very least, make Dua’ to Allah (Swt) to ease his suffering

KEY CONTACTS

European Court of Human Rights

President

European Court of Human Rights

Council of Europe

67075 Strasbourg-Cedex

France

FAX: 00330 388 4102018

Spanish Embassy

39 Chesham Pl

London, SW1X 8SB

TEL : 020 72355555

LETTER TEMPLATE :-

Dear <NAME>

I write to you in relation to the above case of Farid Hilali who is subject to a European Arrest

warrant filed in the United Kingdom by the Spanish Prosecutors office.

There are a number of irregularities and concerns that I have that I believe would make the

extradition unsafe.

· Mr Hilali is being sought on the basis of telephone intercept evidence, which was

found in the Spanish Supreme Court to be inadmissible within Court.

· The alleged co-conspirator in the European Warrant, Mr Yarkas, has been

exonerated of all charges in relation to this recording

· Mr Hilali is alleged by the Spanish Prosecutors Office to be a member of the

‘Hamburg Cell’, even though German Prosecutors have stated that there is no record

of Mr Hilali ever having been involved.

· Mr Hilali is at severe risk of torture by both the Spanish Government and by the

Moroccan Government if Spain were to subsequently deport him.

Mr Farid Hilali has numerous positive character references and has never been convicted of

any terrorist offence. There are serious discrepancies in the credibility of the statement

provided to British Courts by the Spanish Prosecutors office, as contested by the Madrid Bar

Association.

I urge you to protect the human rights of Mr Hilali by preventing this extradition, and appeal to

you to enforce the obligations of member states in relation to Article 3 on the UN Convention

on Torture, which states that “No State Party shall expel, return (“refouler”) or extradite a

person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he will be in

danger of being subjected to torture”.

I thank you for taking the time to read this letter, trust you will now investigate the issues

raised within it and prevent the extradition of Farid Hilali.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Regards,

<NAME>