Egyptian cleric Abu Hamza “begs” US prison chiefs to return to British jails

Abu Hamza al-Masri is currently in prison in the U.S.

The former Finsbury Park Mosque preacher, Abu Hamza al-Masri, has reportedly “begged” US prison bosses to move to British jails after claiming he has been treated “inhumanely”.

Abu Hamza, who is currently serving a life sentence in a high-security prison, said that he would return to a British jail “in a second” if he could.

He has complained that the “inhuman and degrading” conditions in the super-max prison in Colorado is a “breach of his human rights”.

Abu Hamza’s lawyers have said he is “hopeful” about his appeal.

The former Finsbury Park imam was given a life sentence for terrorism and kidnapping offences in New York in January 2015, and has since been mostly kept in solitary confinement in a special unit, preventing him from contacting most of the outside world.

Abu Hamza, who is blind in one eye, says he is starved of human contact and gets no help with his disabilities, according to The Sunday Times.

The paper says court documents show he was allowed to mix with other inmates while being held at HMP Belmarsh in London, as he fought extradition between 2006 and 2012.

He was also visited by a doctor or a nurse up to five times a week and was tended by a healthcare aide daily.

Abu Hamza now has “one hour per day of recreation time” but it takes place in an outdoors “cage” no bigger than his cell.

Michael Bachrach, one of the preacher’s appeal lawyers said: “We strongly believe conditions of his confinement violate expectations of the European Convention on Human Rights and the promises that were made by the US government to the [British and European] courts as part of the extradition.

“He would go back to Belmarsh in a second if he could.”

Bachrach, a terrorism specialist who last saw Abu Hamza in September, said the cleric was “hopeful” about his appeal.

 

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