Johannesburg – South Africa must resist any attempts to extradite Sallahuddin (Tony-Lee) and Yakin (Brandon-Lee) Thulsie to the United States for trial.
The possibility of extradition where the US is involved, mentioned by state prosecutor Chris MacAdam, would be a subversion of South Africa’s judicial process. Not only this, but the twins will likely be tortured and face an unfair trial under current US counter-terrorism legislation.
A police affidavit seen by CAGE Africa testifies that the ISIS contact who allegedly communicated with one of the twins, was a US agent. It is likely that the Thulsie case was a US ‘sting operation’.
‘Stings’ – where members of US security services lure vulnerable individuals into making incriminating statements and encourage violent acts – make up two-thirds of ISIS-related terrorism cases in the United States. This has prompted a former FBI agent to state that the US is “manufacturing terrorism cases”.
In South Africa this is known as entrapment.
Such entrapment has resulted in sentences of over 20 years under broad counter-terrorism legislation. Stings have targeted isolated individuals, the mentally ill, and individuals with strong political views.
In one case a Judge Colleen McMahon declared, “The essence of what occurred here is that a government, understandably zealous to protect its citizens from terrorism, came upon a man both bigoted and suggestible, one who was incapable of committing an act of terrorism on his own…I suspect that real terrorists would not have bothered themselves with a person who was so utterly inept…Only the government could have made a terrorist out of Mr. Cromitie, whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in scope.”
The state’s requests for further postponements of up until the end of April are also unconstitutional and will amount to a detention-without-trial period of nine months. This, in circumstances where the State’s main witness has retracted his statement to the police.
The State alleges that arrests made in the UK in November of last year and Kenya are linked to the Thulsies, but the circumstances of these arrests and the reliability of evidence gathered is yet to be interrogated in a fair trial.
Karen Jayes, spokesperson for CAGE Africa, said:
“It is well documented that the United States security services and prison system torture individuals. Regardless of an individual’s guilt or innocence, nobody should be tortured. If South Africa concedes to an extradition in the twins’ case, to a country that espouses and practices torture, it will be in violation of its own constitution and various international laws.”
“Asking for postponement after postponement hints at weaknesses in the state’s case. Not only is it a violation of the twins’ rights not to be detained without trial, but it sets a dangerous precedent for others.”
“Questions as to whether the alleged evidence in Kenya and Britain was gathered under torture and in violation of due process must also be answered. This must be seen to be a fair trial so that communities are not angered and isolated, and justice is upheld.”
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(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.)