MAHDI HASHI – A BRITON BETRAYED
Left: Mahdi Hashi; right: Helena Kennedy
Published: 01 August, 2013
by TOM FOOT
BARRISTER Baroness Helena Kennedy told a court that a former Haverstock schoolboy was “exposed to illegality and an abuse of human rights” by the government during a legal bid to restore his British citizenship.
The Labour peer and QC represented Mahdi Hashi, who lived for 10 years in Gilbey’s Yard, Chalk Farm, in the Special Immigration Appeals Tribunal court, Holborn, on Friday.
Mr Hashi, 23, was stripped of his passport by Home Secretary Theresa May in June last year, weeks before he was arrested by CIA agents in east Africa and taken to New York where he is charged with serious terrorism offences.
Since his arrest, the government has refused to comment or intervene in any way on his behalf, arguing he is no longer its responsibility.
Baroness Kennedy is challenging the “withdrawal of citizenship” arguing he was not given a chance to appeal against the decision that has left her client “stateless”.
Speaking to the New Journal after the hearing, Baroness Kennedy said: “No attempt was made to inform him in Somalia or to seek information from his parents as to how to contact him. We have no Embassy in Somalia because things are so rough.
“He went to Djibouti where he was picked up by the secret police and held without any court process or access to advice.
“He was subjected to lengthy interrogation by CIA operatives then hooded and flown to the USA – there was no due process, no application for extradition, no suggestion he should be tried by his own country, the UK.
“The secretary of state exposed him to illegality and an egregious abuse of his human rights.”
Baroness Kennedy said she told the court how for three months before the order was served Mr Hashi had been held in captivity by the Somalian terrorist group al-Shabaab.
Mr Hashi was “suspected of being an informant on behalf of the British state because there had been some assassinations of some of their members by drones”.
She said that some of those detained with him were executed, but Mr Hashi was released only to be captured and detained by the US authorities the following month.
Yesterday (Wednesday), Mr Hashi’s sister Fatuma said the family had struggled to get access to him in the US. She said he had been put on “special administrative measures”.
She said: “We got a call from the FBI saying Mahdi would be able to speak to us but that no one else but his father could speak to him and the call could not be on speaker phone.
“He knew it was Ramadan and he wished us well and said he had been fasting. His grandmother in Somalia has passed away and last week was the first time he heard about that.”
Mr Hashi went to Primrose Hill and Rhyl primary schools, before going to Haverstock. He had gone public in 2009 with complaints that he, along with other friends at the Kentish Town Community Centre, had been harassed by MI5 after he refused to act as informer on Camden Muslims.
In a letter to his family announcing the removal of his citizenship in June last year, Ms May said: “The reason for this decision is that the Security Service assess that you have been involved in Islamist extremism and present a risk to the national security of the United Kingdom due to your extremist activities.”
The Home Office has repeatedly refused to comment on the case.
Source: Camden New Journal