Complicity: Europe colludes with the torture of its own citizens
— Please note that you can view the Q&A session below —
The International State Crime Initiative and the London Friends of Ali Aarrass invite you to the UK premiere of the new documentary by Moroccan playwright and film-maker, Mohamed Ouachen, ‘Ali Aarrass pour l’exemple’ (sub-titled in English). This, the story of a Belgian dual national extradited from Spain to Morocco where he was tortured and sentenced to fifteen years in prison at a mockery of a trial, has parallels with the case of British Muslim Talha Ahsan, and the documentary ‘Extradition’ by Turab Shah about the plight of Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan, extradited in 2012 to a US supermax prison in Connecticut, will also be screened.
After the film screenings, there will be a panel discussion chaired by Professor Penny Green, where family members and human rights and prison campaigners from the UK, Belgium and the United States will discuss the interconnections between racism and exclusion, banishment and prison, and ask what more can be done to challenge the double standards that exclude Muslim citizens from the rule of law and leave them vulnerable to the most despicable human rights violations.
Panellists at the event will include: Victoria Brittain (former associate foreign editor of The Guardian Newspaper), Farida Aarrass (sister of Ali Aarrass), Luk Vervaet (initiator of Free Ali campaign and prison teacher fighting work ban), Hamja Ahsan (brother of Talha Ahsan), and Arun Kundnani (author of, ‘The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, extremism, and the domestic War on Terror’ – forthcoming from Verso Books).
This event is free and all are welcome to attend, however, registration is essential, please do so here.
For more information about Ali see www.freeali.eu, about Talha www.freetalha.org Follow on Twitter: @AliAarrass @hamjaaahsan @freetalha
A message from Ali Aarrass to all his supporters (24 April, prison cell, Sale):
Everything becomes so clear when you’re deprived of liberty. Not to abuse each other. To understand each other despite your differences – it’s so easy and so beautiful when it happens spontaneously, when it comes from your own free will. Here in prison we learn to support and accept each other, and our faults, small or large, are no big thing beside the fact of the injustices we have all suffered. Prison is a whole world. All the routines of daily life go on there, but all under constraint. Nothing is done with the pleasure of being able to make ones own choices. Dear friends, make use of the happiness and pleasure which liberty brings you to act freely to fight against the barriers separating you from each other. Stay united. From inside my cell, this is my vision. This is what would make everything go better.
(Translated from Spanish by Ali’s sister, Farida, and into English by Frances Webber)