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Please donate to support work of family-run campaign Free Talha Ahsan campaign concerning reforming unjust extradition law, supporting poetry written in prison and solitary confinement.

Talha Ahsan Prison Poetry & Film tour – highlighting Injustice of Extradition & Solitary Confinement

byHamja Ahsan

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London, UK

Hamja Ahsan

239 Campaigns | 0 Loved campaigns

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Please donate to support work of family-run campaign Free Talha Ahsan campaign concerning reforming unjust extradition law, supporting poetry written in prison and solitary confinement. Hamja Ahsan who runs the campaign has been shortlisted for LIBERTY Human Rights Award 2013 for Free Talha Ahsan campaign creavity and innovation and the use of poetry, visual art & film in highlighting injustice & human rights abuses.

  • £137 pays for 100 poetry prison books to be printed
  • Travel costs & accomodation costs of family visiting Talha in solitary confinement (London to Connecticut USA & New York after July – £2K)
  • Office overhead costs (printer ink, postage)
  • Promotional costs for event (flyers, advertising, banners)
  • Merchandise costs (Badges, T-shirts)
  • Research costs (books, and paywall)
  • Travel costs (train, coach) on UK film tours

TV: ITV news, BBC World (to 77 million viewers), BBC news 24, Islam Channel, IQRA TV, Russia Today, Press TV, Al Jazeera, CNN, Channel 4 news

Radio: BBC World Service, Radio 5, Radio 4, BBC Asian Network, BBC 3 counties, Resonance FM, WBAI Radio (New York USA) KPAI (Texas, USA) South Africa, local radio in Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, LBC.

New Print / Magazines Media : The Guardian, METRO double page feature, The Independent, Daily Maverick (South Africa), The Independent, New Statesman, Times, The Economist, Daily Telegraph, EMEL, Muslim News, Ceasefire, Huffington Post

Speaking : Stop the War AGM, National Union of Students Black Student gathering, SOAS, Prisoner Advice Service, UAF AGM at TUC, Rich Mix, Defend the Right to Protest, Kings College, International State Crime Initiative, Tate Modern (AL Kennedy), Universities : Kings College, Bradford, Sussex, SOAS.

Supporters : Noam Chomsky, Caroline Lucas MP, A.L. Kennedy, Victoria Brittain, Janis Sharp, LIBERTY, Amnesty International, Muslim Council of Britain, Sadiq Khan MP, Jeremy Corbyn MP, John McDonnel MP, Murad Quereshi AM, Natwest 3, Robert King (Angola 3), actor / musician Riz Ahmed, Institute of Race Relations, International State Crime Initiative, Louise Christian, Defend the Right to Protest, CAMPACC, Solitary Watch, Haldane Society of Lawyers, Scotland Against Criminalising Communities, CAGE UK, Bruce Kent, Islamic Human Rights Commission.

Books : This be the Answer – Talha Ahsan –
2 new poetry books written in prison forthcoming
Talha Ahsan poetry is also translated & published into Italian

Featuring in books :
The Establishment – Owen Jones (forthcoming ETA Sept 2014)
Shadow Lives – Victoria Brittain
On Writing – AL Kennedy –
The State of Race – ed. Nisha Kapoor

Cities visits: Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Sussex, Brighton, Cardiff, Cambridge, London, Leeds, Bradford.

Hope to visit : Oxford, Newcastle, Liverpool, Sheffield, Blackburn & more … – invite Hamja to speak as guest speaker in your city / university / event

Film :


“In the face of the cruel injustice of Talha’s incarceration for six years without trial in the UK, the constant fear, in that period, that he may be extradited and finally the devastating pain and sorrow of  the extradition itself, Hamja  has held himself together, supported his elderly parents who are deeply traumatised and  poured all his time and energy into setting up a remarkable and unwavering campaign for justice – demanding that Talha is brought back to the UK … This is a campaign which grows stronger every year.
Thanks to Hamja’s  passionate commitment and the many sacrifices he had had to make the Free Talha Ahsan campaign has not only  mobilised human rights advocates  in the US, Europe and the UK and supported other campaigns on human rights but attracted  an extremely wide range of supporters. The campaign’s demand for a right to a UK trial, for example, has brought together people as politically different as  Noam Chomsky and Boris Johnson.

But perhaps the real strength of the campaign which Hamja has created is that it has drawn in a very large number of individuals  who have never before been involved in campaigns on human rights. He has used art, poetry and film to  explore details not only of the relevant laws but of the nature of  extradition and solitary imprisonment. In short, he has built a campaign which demands that we think more deeply about human rights and freedom  and what this kind of injustice does to those who face it and their families.”

– Dr. Amrit Wilson (writer & activist, Martin Luther King Award Winner)

“Hamja has been a tireless advocate for his brother, Talha Ahsan, who was extradited to the US in 2012. He has sacrificed his own career as an artist and curator to run the Free Talha campaign.

Over several years he has made many media appearances and spoken at many public events. He has always contextualised his brother’s case against the need for a greater human rights culture in the UK. Always anxious to build solidarity and greater public understanding, Hamja is impressive not simply for his single-minded attention to his brother’s cause but for his ability to call upon different communities to support a greater respect for human rights protections.

At his most recent event, Long Walk, he brought together members of family- and community-based campaigns: Sheila Coleman from the Hillsborough Campaign and Saqib Deshmukh, campaigner against deaths in UK police custody, joined Hamja to speak about and share their experiences, together with comedian Ava Vidal and novelist A.L Kennedy. Hamja has also been a supportive figure for other campaigns against extradition, having built supportive relationships with Janis Sharp and Gary Mulgrew.

Most importantly, and in various different ways, Hamja has been able to support his brother and his sisters and parents (with whom he lives) at this most desperate time. ”

Dr Ian Patel – International State Crime Initiative (ISCI)
Dr Corinna Mullin – SOAS University, Department of International Politics

“If you search for Hamja Ahsan under Google images, you will get a good feel for the depth and breadth of his campaigning activity.
Hamja might best be described as the Janis Sharp of the Muslim Community, putting his own life on hold while fighting for his brother….  Even when the battle against extradition was lost in October 2012 (Theresa May put the two men on a plane with Abu Hamza, pretending to the media that they were in some way connected), Hamja has continued to campaign for the return of his brother, currently held in solitary confinement in a Supermax facility in Connecticut.
Hamja has been tireless in raising awareness of the case, and of the Extradition Act which has seen so much injustice perpetrated on so many people over the past decade.  He has organised meetings, rallies, poetry recitals and much more.  A nomination for him, perhaps in the category of Close to Home, would do much to maintain awareness of the case, and the human rights issues associated with long term incarceration in solitary confinement, and to keep the pressure on the politicians here who have forsaken his brother, and should be held to account…  It is a stain on the human rights record of this country…”
– David Bermingham (Natwest 3 – Expert Witness on Extradition)