David Calling

The David Pryce-Jones blog.

European Court Will Hear Terrorists’ Appeals


Rangzieb Ahmed was born in Britain. Aged 37 now, he seems to have done little except join al-Qaeda and have a hand in its acts of terror in Britain, including the subway bombing of July 7, 2005, that killed 52 people and maimed or wounded some 700 others. Salahuddin Amin was also born in Britain, but from the age of four lived in Pakistan. Sixteen when he returned to Britain, he was the moving spirit in at least two attempts at mass murder. Both these terrorists have been caught and sentenced to life imprisonment. The judge called them “ruthless misfits who should be removed from society for its own protection.”

Every terrorist handbook advises whoever is arrested to claim that he has been tortured. I have sat in on trials of Palestinian terrorists and one and all said they had been tortured, put up to the lying in my judgment by their lawyers. Sure enough, Rangzieb Ahmed and Salahuddin Amin both say that they were tortured. When they appealed, however, a Court in London upheld both convictions. So both men further applied to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on the grounds that their human rights have been breached. This court receives hundreds of thousands of appeals every year concerning abuse of human rights and dismisses most of them without a hearing; the backlog is anyhow 150,000 cases. But it accepted the appeal of these two terrorists.

An eminent British lawyer, Lord Carlile, has been overseeing issues of terrorism for the government. He is quoted saying that the Strasbourg court’s interference is novel and “completely unacceptable.”  Should that court decide in favor of the terrorists then the British courts are obliged to quash their convictions. Such an over-riding of its legal system would mean that Britain has forfeited its independence and in the process given terrorists impunity to turn the country into another al-Qaeda emirate. 


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