Speaking as an American, I find the rush to dismantle our tradition of fairness and due process in terrorism cases deeply disturbing. It is equally troubling that other countries (including Britain) have been falling over themselves to join in the rush to the basement of the rule of law. It is very unlikely, sad to say, that Talha will get a trial where his case is fully heard; it is too likely that he will receive a very harsh sentence, far beyond anything that a European country might mete out. Only those who have not witnessed its impact can think that solitary confinement as practiced by the US is acceptable under any norm of civilisation. As wiser people than I have said, we can assess the degree of each country’s civilisation by the manner in which they treat their prisoners. I encourage everyone in the effort to support Talha’s simply claim for justice.
Clive Stafford Smith (writing in a personal capacity)
Winner of Gandhi International Peace Award.
Director of Reprieve