Saturday, March 24, 2018
ISIS supporter Humza Ali claims that jailing him for posting videos of beheadings 'violated his human rights'
A Birmingham student has claimed that jailing him for posting videos of Islamic State beheadings online violated his human right to express himself.
Humza Ali, from
, who had once told a friend he would “fight and die” for ISIS, posted three videos - two of them showing sickening set-piece executions - on a chat site.
He was convicted of three counts of disseminating terrorist publications by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court in December 2016.
The court heard how the 21-year-old trained for terrorist combat at Delta Force paintballing in Solihull where he also posed for photos alongside three other men linked to the extreme organisation.
Humza Ali (top right), Mohammed Ali Ahmed (bottom left), Gabriel Rasmus (front row, second left) and Abdelatif Gaini (front row, second right)
Ali went to the Appeal Court in London to deny the videos were “terrorist publications” or that he had encouraged anyone to support IS.
The 21-year-old claims that he had only watched the opening minutes of one of the videos were disbelieved by jurors.
One of the videos showed six men being decapitated and the second showed another victim being shot in the head.
The third was an ISIS "recruitment video" that glorified the death and "martyrdom" of a Canadian convert to the cult.
But Ali argued that his convictions breached his right to freedom of expression, enshrined in Article 10 of the Human Rights Convention.
At the Court of Appeal, in London, he denied that the videos were "terrorist publications" or that he had encouraged others to support ISIS.
But Lord Justice Treacy said the propaganda videos were clearly "calls for others to take up arms" and "committ acts of terrorism".
The ban on such material was "clearly lawful, proportionate and necessary" and Ali's freedom of expression rights were "not absolute".
"We are unpersuaded that there was, as asserted, a failure adequately to take account of his Article 10 rights," the judge concluded.
Prosecutors at Ali's trial said he had been radicalised soon after leaving school and become "fixated" by ISIS and advancing its sick aims.
After obtaining a passport and going on a paintballing day with others, he managed to travel to Turkey by a circuitous route.
That, the judge said, was "all in preparation for joining Islamic State" in Syria.
As well as the terrorist publication offences, Ali was convicted of engaging in preparation for terrorist acts and is serving a total nine-year jail term.
Labelled a dangerous offender, Ali, of Bromford Lane, West End, was also ordered to serve an extra five years on licence following his release.
He had no previous convictions and his lawyers argued he was "open minded and potentially prepared to change".
He posed little threat to anyone as "he was now on the radar of the police and security services," they claimed.
But Lord Justice Treacy said a pre-sentence report had described Ali as "a substantial danger to members of the public".
He managed to get to Turkey, via Scotland, Belfast and Dublin, even though his mother had confiscated his passport.
Upholding the sentence, the judge added: "He had done his level best to prepare for travel and to get to Syria in order to fight."
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