London – The guilty verdict of Jack Letts’ parents John Letts and Sally Lane shows the absurdity of counter-terrorism legislation as well as its inhumanity and openness to abuse by security services intent on making a show of their “success” at the cost of their citizens.

It is worth noting that Hanif Qadir, a “former senior counter-radicalisation expert” and CEO of the RICU-funded Active Change Foundation, acted as an “independent advisor” to the family.
Questions need to be asked as to what he knew about the meagre financial assistance provided by the family to secure a safe passage home, while at the same time acting as a police informant and eventually testifying against them.

 

Cerie Bullivant, CAGE spokesperson, said:

“That two law-abiding and caring parents can face the full brunt of the state’s counter-terrorism apparatus for trying to get their son to come home from a war zone, is glaring evidence of the inhumanity of the counter-terrorism sector, which is structured on convictions and publicity at the cost of the well-being of ordinary British people.”

“The fact that Letts’ parents informed police and agreed to cooperate with them, then they were  ‘supported’ by a police informant acting as a “counter-extremism” expert amounts to  a collective guilt approach which criminalises all and sundry. Families are caught in a “Catch-22” situation – they are desperate to help but are caught up in the complex spiders web of counter terrorism laws”

 

John Letts, Jack’s father, said:

“We did what any parent would do to save the life of their child. But the media had already turned our son into a monster, so we were never going to get a fair trial.”

“I can’t see how anyone can trust the police under the PREVENT programme. The PREVENT-backed organisation they referred us to, the Active Change Foundation, assured us that all our conversations were confidential, but then they reported directly back to counter-terrorism. These “experts” then became prosecution witnesses in our trial, saying we “must have known” Jack would be a fighter even though they never had any evidence of it themselves. The depth of betrayal by these ‘counter-extremism experts’ and the police can not be emphasised enough.”

“This has all been staged to make an example of us and scare others. The state has spent at least 6 million prosecuting two grieving parents whose lives are now ruined and whose son is still rotting – physically and mentally – uncharged, in a Kurdish jail. In a week when the British government has been exposed as selling illegal arms to Saudi Arabia to kill 60,000 Yemeni civilians, British ‘justice’ is turning into a bad joke.”

[Ends]

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)