Irish Americans Against Extradition sign now

(By Jerry Boyle)

On March 31, 2003, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and U.K. Home Secretary David Blunkett signed a new treaty providing for extradition between the two countries of persons accused of crimes. The new treaty, which has yet to be ratified by the U.S. Senate, marks an unprecedented departure from two centuries of American extradition practice. America has
always been a refuge for those fleeing tyranny overseas, and a political offense exception to extradition has been an essential element of every one of our extradition treaties since Thomas Jefferson refused extradition of an opponent of the French Revolution.

Although the new treaty pays lip service to the political offense exception, it removes that essential protection for those seeking refuge on our shores. Worse, it subjects U.S. citizens to extradition based solely on unproven allegations by the British government. Any American active in Irish affairs faces potential detention, and transportation to the United Kingdom, without any proof of guilt, and without judicial review. Never before in its history has the United States government subjected the liberty of its citizens to the whims of a foreign government. In summary, the new treaty:

1. Eliminates the political offense exception for any offense allegedly involving violence or weapons, including any solicitation, conspiracy or attempt to commit such crimes;
2. Transfers responsibility for determining whether the extradition request is politically - motivated from the courts to the executive branch;
3. Allows for extradition even if no U.S. federal law is violated;
4. Eliminates any statute of limitations;
5. Eliminates the need for any showing by the United Kingdom of facts sufficient to show the person requested is guilty of the crime charged -- mere unsupported allegations are sufficient;
6. Allows for provisional arrest and detention for 60 days upon request by the United Kingdom;
7. Allows for seizure of assets by the United Kingdom;
8. Allows for extradition for one offense, and then subsequent prosecution in the UK for an unrelated offense (thus eliminating the time-honored rule of specialty); and
9. Applies retroactively, for offenses allegedly committed even before the ratification of the treaty.

No Irish-American activist is safe if this treaty passes. While the most immediate threat is aimed at those who reject the Good Friday Agreement, this treaty is a threat to political activists across the board. In fact, the treaty appears to be an effort by the U.K. government to set the stage
for the breakdown of the G.F.A. , allowing extradition for alleged behavior occurring years ago by activists and organizations.

Attorney General Ashcroft appears to be trying to slip this treaty through the Senate without fanfare, similar to the strategy used with Joseph Doherty. No more Joe Dohertys!

We the undersigned object in the strongest terms to the wholesale sellout of our United States Constitutional rights at the behest of a foreign government.

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Latest Signatures

  • 10 February 20161000. Sean T
    The day you persue the Irish and damn them for being so, is the day we stand as one against any power, super or not. City, State Arizona
  • 10 February 2016999. Patrick O
    I support this petition
  • 09 February 2016998. Maureen Af
    I support this petition
  • 05 February 2016997. Shawn Pm
    Please reconsider the ramifications of this extradition agreement. City, State Philadelphia, PA
  • 27 January 2016996. Owen M
    I support this petition
  • 21 January 2016995. Anna G
    I support this petition
  • 05 January 2016994. Robert Fg
    I support this petition
  • 30 December 2015993. Steve P
    I support this petition
  • 20 December 2015992. John Hr
    I support this petition
  • 20 December 2015991. Mr Andmrsjohnm
    I support this petition
  • 16 December 2015990. Arthur H
    I support this petition
  • 06 December 2015989. Ryan Patrickd
    I support this petition
  • 30 November 2015988. Chris Maryf
    Friends of Irish Freedom City, State Chicago
  • 23 November 2015987. Donna F
    This is a scarey thing.. each issue like this chips away our freedoms. City, State Lake Havasu Arizona
  • 19 November 2015986. Jason Mk
    I strongly support repeal of this unjust Extradition Pact & Agreement City, State Schenectady,New York
  • 10 November 2015985. Aoh Kevinbarrydivision
    The Irish Community of Indianapolis supports Ciaran Ferry and his struggle for freedom! City, State Indianapolis, IN
  • 07 November 2015984. Lydia O
    I support this petition
  • 07 November 2015983. Rory Pb
    I support this petition
  • 28 October 2015982. Peter Mq
    I support this petition
  • 13 October 2015981. David H
    I support this petition
  • 13 October 2015980. Brian Wardlowcumannnas
    The long arm of British tyranny has found its way back to our shores. Oppose this treaty, and the many other injustices imposed on Irish America at request of the never ending source of all political evil : The British government City, State www.irishfre
  • 06 October 2015979. Chris L
    I support this petition
  • 02 October 2015978. Mike C
    Worry about the real terrorists not ones manufactured by the Brits! City, State Lackawanna, New York-USA
  • 16 September 2015977. Scott Ew
    I support this petition
  • 15 September 2015976. Benjamin Edwardd
    I support this petition
  • 08 September 2015975. Michael T
    I'm Irish, and I support the freedom of my Irish relatives still living under British tyranny. As an American citizen, born and raised, it is my right to speak my mind. This right can't be taken away from the American people. City, State Roswell, GA
  • 03 September 2015974. Maureen F
    I support this petition

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Madelyn FloresBy:
City LifeIn:
Petition target:
US Senate, US Executive Branch


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