Friday, November 23, 2007

Charges Dropped: Family Appeal For Release Of Rashid Rauf

Family and friends of Rashid Rauf have received some support for their attempt to prevent what appears to be his imminent (and illegal) extradition from Pakistan to Britain.

Rashid Rauf has been called "a key person" in the bogus alleged "Liquid Bombers" plot in which a dozen teams of suicide terrorists were supposedly going to knock a dozen airplanes out of the sky more or less simultaneously, killing "hundreds of thousands of people", using bombs they were preparing to make out of common household liquids.

(As regular readers of this page well know, it was not possible. It was not even remotely possible. For more details see "Uninformed Nonsense: Juan Cole, Rashid Rauf, Liquid Bombs and Whole Cloth" and/or "The Alleged "Liquid Bombing" Plot Revisited -- Maybe It Was Possible After All".)

Cageprisoners dot com:

Illegal Extradition of Rashid Rauf (in full; edited very slightly for clarity)
Rashid Rauf was arrested from Bahawalpur in August, 2006 and shown arrested at Airport Police Station on false charges regarding terrorism on 7th November, 2007.

Rashid Rauf was given a release order on account of being innocent by the Anti Terrorist Court, Rawalpindi, comprising Sakhi Muhammad Khaut.

It was ordered that on 15th November, 2007 he will be released.

His uncle went to receive him on 15th November, 2007. But he was shown a document saying that the British Government is seeking Rashid's extradition, therefore it is apprehended that he is to be implicated under some false offences on the basis of which he could be handed over to the British government.

Newspaper reports suggest that since there is no extradition treaty between Pakistan and UK, therefore it would be an illegal act on the part of the Government, to hand him over to Britain.

The spouse of Rashid and two of his innocent daughters have traveled to Islamabad all the way long from Bahawalpur in miserable condition.

They have appealed for Rashid's release and demanded from the government that they should be allowed to meet him. They also pleaded not to hand him over to any other country.

Since he has been released by all Pakistani Courts, and there is no charge against him and that on the basis of false fabricated accusation, no Pakistani national can be handed over to any other country.
Remarkably, mention of Rashid Rauf's case also appears in the International Herald Tribune (from the AP, in full again):
The family of Rashid Rauf, a British Muslim suspected of involvement in an alleged plot to blow up trans-Atlantic jetliners, appealed Thursday to Pakistani authorities to drop proceedings to extradite him to Britain and release him from custody.

"Rashid did nothing wrong and he is innocent and this has been proved in the court of law too ... please release him, let him meet his family and his two daughters," said his wife, Saira Rashid.

Rauf, who is of Pakistani origin, was arrested here in August 2006 on a tip from British investigators. He has been described as a key suspect in a purported plot to blow up jetliners flying from Britain to the United States which prompted a major security alert at airports worldwide and increased restrictions on carry-on items.

Rauf was arrested and charged in Pakistan with possessing chemicals that could be used in making explosives and with carrying forged travel documents. But the prosecution later withdrew the case against him, and the anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi ordered his release.

Britain had asked Pakistan to hand over Rauf in connection with a 2002 murder inquiry in Britain that is separate from the alleged terrorism plot.

Rashid remains in jail awaiting a decision on the British request.

His lawyer, Hashmat Habib, said he has filed a petition to block the move, saying the two countries did not have an extradition treaty and that Rashid had already been found innocent of involvement in terrorism.

Members of Rashid's family said they also would appeal directly to Pakistan's human rights minister to block any extradition.
The irony in this "legal" battle over Rashid Rauf's future is very thick. One layer concerns the bogus bombing plot.

Another concerns those "chemicals that could be used in making explosives." Rashid Rauf allegedly had 29 bottles of hydrogen peroxide. And rather than explain how peroxide in Pakistan could to be used to blow up airplanes flying to the USA from the UK, the Pakistani authorities dropped the charges.

Under normal rule of law Rashid Rauf would have been released from prison last week.

But this isn't normal; this is Pakistan under emergency rule, and the rule of law doesn't apply anymore.

The President, General Pervez Musharraf, claims his declaration of emergency is necessary to bring the country back to "normal".

This may also be considered ironic.


twenty-fourth in a series