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mohinoaklawnillinois Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:23 AM
Original message
New US-UK Extradition Treaty
As today is the 88th Anniversary of the beginning of the Easter Uprising in Dublin, I just wanted to give anyone who's interested a head's up on this disgusting piece of diplomacy between the current administration and the British Government.

This treaty, which was signed by Asscroft and British Home Secretary David Blunkett on March 31, 2003 was given to the Senate for consideration on last Monday, April 19, 2004. The treaty's number in the Senate is 108-23.

This treaty, as proposed, would do the following:

1. Extradite and imprison any American citizen without proof of guilt and without judicial review.
2. Build a case for extradition and imprisonment against an American citizen on the word of a single witness.
3. Detain in custody and "provisionally arrest" any American citizen for up to 60 days.
4. Build a case for extradition and imprisonment even if no US law has been broken.
5. Detain, deport and arrest any American citizen for activites that have taken place in the past.
6. Detain, deport and arrest any American citizen without "prima fasciae" physical evidence; unsupported allegations will be sufficient.
7. Seize assets and property of American citizens after they are deported.
8. Disregard the "political exemption" clause held since Thomas Jefferson refused to extradite an opponent of the French Revolution.

This vile piece of diplomacy has one intention according to Francis Boyle, a professor of law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign "People could be prosecuted for simply helping people involved in the situation in Northern Ireland. The UK government does not need this treaty to get Real or Continuity IRA people. They already can under the current treaty as supplemented in the 1980's. This treaty is really aimed at shutting down Irish-American organizations and individuals."

Please help Irish-born American citizens and Irish-Americans by writing to your state's Senators and most importantly to the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. If the Foreign Relations Committee rejects this treaty in its present form, it's over. You can get information on the Senator's mailing addresses at: www.members.senate.gov/index.htm.

You can also get more information on this at the website of the Irish American Unity conference: www.iauc.org and also at this site:
http://members.freespeech.org/irishpows/bb3/extradition... . The ACLU also has information about this at their website.

My fear and my husband's fear is that the Foreign Relations Committee will not reject this in its present form and this treaty will somehow possibly come up for a "stealth" vote in the Senate sometime in the near future. This is just one more attempt by Asscroft, et al, to infringe on American civil liberties. It must be stopped.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
1. What's the problem for America?
1.An offence shall be an extraditable offence if the conduct on which the offence is based is punishable under the laws in both States by deprivation of liberty for a period of one year or more or by a more severe penalty.
2.An offence shall also be an extraditable offence if it consists of an attempt or a conspiracy to commit,participation in the commission of,aiding or abetting, counseling or procuring the commission of,or being an accessory before or after the fact to any offence described in paragraph 1 of this Article.
...
1.Extradition shall not be granted if the offence for which extradition is requested is a political offence.

Under the treaty, people cannot be extradited from the USA to the UK without enough evidence for reasonable belief they committed the crime. They can, however, be extradited the other way - from the UK to the USA - solely with the accusation. Check Article 8 of the treaty (PDF document), especially part 3(c):
for requests to the United States,such information as would provide
a reasonable basis to believe that the person sought committed the
offence for which extradition is requested.


So Americans continue to have this (existing) protection - it's the British who lose out.

So an offence has to be one in both countries, and it can't be political (the definitions for 'not political' cover murder, bombing and other violent crimes; anyone who would think of defending them is a violent arsehole, and so need not concern us). Anyone in Britain can be extradited to America without a reasonable basis being provided, but going the other way still requires the reasonable basis. It's not Americans who should complain, it's the British. We've been sold out by our government, again.
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mohinoaklawnillinois Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Please read the letter from the ACLU regarding this
treaty to the members of the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee. It was written 18 December 2003. I think it explains that the people on both sides of the Atlantic have problems.

http://www.aclu.org/ImmigrantsRights/ImmigrantsRights.c...

"So an offence has to be one in both countries, and it can't be political (the definitions for 'not political' cover murder, bombing and other violent crimes; anyone who would think of defending them is a violent arsehole, and so need not concern us)."

I hope you don't think myself and my husband are "violent arseholes", because we're not.

Why doesn't the British government look into the murders of Pat Finucane, Rosemary Nelson and Robert Hamill. Pat Finucane and Rosemary Nelson were both solicitors who defended nationalists and there are real questions about complicity in their murders with members of the British Security Forces in Northern Ireland.

Robert Hamill was beaten to death on a street in Portadown, Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland in April of 1998 while the RUC just sat there and did nothing.

Oh, but then again, the British government is just as unwilling to investigate itself as the current US government is.

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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. The ACLU's objection boils down to
wanting a court to decide whether to allow the crime to be dismissed as political, rather then the executive, as the treaty proposes. They also worry about the 60 days during which a person can be held before the 'reasonable basis' has to be proved. The ACLU doesn't think most of the bullet points in the original post are a worry at all - I think they're hyperbole, as is the claim that the whole point of the treaty is to target Irish Americans. I think you'd be better off concentrating on the ACLU's objections, rather than claiming the treaty would allow extradition for acts that are legal in the USA, when it won't. There's no need to cry wolf.

I'd never suggest you and your husband support violent crime. Your comments on Finucane etc. show you don't - we're on the same side there - we want murders investigated. That obviously includes people who conspire to commit murder, in Britain or America.
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billyskank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 02:35 PM
Response to Original message
3. Don't wanna reciprocate?
We already agreed with the United States that any British citizen can be extradited to the USA on request; no evidence necessary. All they have to say is "we think this person might be a terrorist" and that's it.

I think that agreement was made a couple of years ago. It all stinks.
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mohinoaklawnillinois Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. When I posted this, I wanted feedback from people in the
Edited on Sat Apr-24-04 02:51 PM by mohinoaklawnillinois
US who might think this treaty is little over the top.

It's not my problem that the British government doesn't give a rat's ass about the civil liberties of its own citizens.
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mr blur Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Unlike Free America, of course,
where everyone gets fair and equal treatment?
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mohinoaklawnillinois Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I never said the US was a paradise.
We have our problems like every other country in the world. Unfortunately since * and company have taken over, it's just been more obvious.
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
8. I'd totally forgotten this was the date of the Rising!
Thanks for the info and the links.
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mohinoaklawnillinois Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Greatauntoftriplets, I don't know if you take a drink or not,
but if you do, tonight think of all the gallant men who participated in the Easter Rising and signed the Proclamation. God rest their souls.
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greatauntoftriplets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I of the drink take....
...and in fact, have a bottle of Jameson's. Will have a toast to them tonight.

Lordy, didn't you see me sucking up the Guinness last month?
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