READING ABOUT TERROR NOT CONSIDERED TERRORISM

The Court of Appeal in London quashed the convictions of five young Muslim men jailed for downloading extremist literature. Freeing Irfan Raja, Awaab Iqbal, Aitzaz Zafar,

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The Court of Appeal in London quashed the convictions of five young Muslim men jailed for downloading extremist literature. Freeing Irfan Raja, Awaab Iqbal, Aitzaz Zafar, Usman Malik and Akbar Butt, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips said their conviction last year was unsafe. None of the men possessed information which suggested they were plotting a bomb attack, and their lawyers argued that their prosecution relied on a ‘maverick use’ of the law which had never been intended by Parliament. In one of the first trials of its kind, the five students were convicted and jailed in 2007 with terms between two and three years each. Imran Khan, solicitor for one of the five men, said they had been prosecuted for ‘thought crime’. At their trial, they said they had been uniquely prosecuted for what they had read, rather than anything they had done. Raja, the youngest was still a schoolboy at the time of his arrest.