Abu Hamza is suing American authorities over ‘cruel’ conditions at the country’s most secure prison – where two of the Isis ‘Beatles’ could face a life sentence.
Hamza, the former imam of north London’s Finsbury Park mosque, says he isn’t getting enough sunlight in his cell – and being deprived of his hooks means he has to tear open packets of food with his rotting teeth, three of which have been lost.
The hate preacher, who is in solitary confinement at ADX Florence, claims he suffers with ‘stress and anxiety’ in the Colorado facility, and has now filed a civil lawsuit against US attorney general William Barr, The Sunday Times reports.
He claims he has had to switch from a Muslim halal diet to a Jewish kosher one because they trays they are served on are ‘easier to eat from’ – a move he describes as ‘religiously stressful’.
Hamza, 62, is appealing his incarceration, claiming that ‘inhuman and degrading’ conditions breach his human rights.
He claims that little accommodation was made for his disabilities, which include a lack of forearms and one blind eye.
Abu Hamza, the former imam of north London’s Finsbury Park mosque, says he isn’t getting enough sunlight in his cell – and being deprived of his hooks means he has to tear open packets of food with his rotting teeth, three of which have been lost
The hate preacher, who is in solitary confinement at ADX Florence, claims he suffers with ‘stress and anxiety’ in the Colorado facility
The supermax jail in Colorado has housed the most notorious and violent criminals in the US
Hamza also says his first cell had ‘no natural light’ and measured 8ft by 16ft, with the lack of a suitable disabled toilet leaving his ‘often soiling his clothes’. He claims his arm stumps would bleed while turning on the taps.
He also says one time his toenails were left unclipped for 14 months, causing him ‘severe pain and difficulty walking’.
The cleric revealed he underwent a hunger strike for at least 10 days in protest of his treatment at the prison, where inmates are kept in ‘cage-like’ cells for as many as 23 hours a day and banned from contact with others.
Hamza is also suing US authorities for damages for alleged wrongdoings amid ‘cruel and unusual conditions in prolonged, continuous, dangerous solitary confinement since 2012’, court filings show.
That was the year of his extradition to stand trial for supporting al-Qaeda, and in 2015 he was moved to ADX Florence following a conviction and life sentence with no possibility of parole.
The jail could become the new home of London-born Isis members Alexanda Kotey, 36, and El Shafee Elsheikh, 32, who are allegedly behind the beheading of two British aid workers and two US journalists.
El-Shafee El-Sheikh (left), 32, and Alexanda Kotey (right), 36, were members of the ‘Beatles’ terror cell which was behind the beheading of two British aid workers and two US journalists
At the ‘supermax’ US Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado, the grounds are patrolled by attack dogs and the towers are manned with sharpshooters
The Supreme Court in London last week lifted an order that meant the Home Office and UK Government could not send evidence over to the US – meaning the duo could now spend the rest of their lives in a maximum security prison in America.
The court’s initial judgement on data protection had said providing evidence for criminal proceedings where they could be executed breached their human rights.
The court had ruled after El-Sheikh’s mother Maha Elgizouli challenged the then home secretary Savid Javid’s initial decision to share the information in the case.
She believes her son should face justice but that any trial should take place in the UK, but the new development means Britain can now share information with the US.
Prosecutors in the US initially planned to seek Kotey and El-Sheikh’s execution – and the British government want the pair prosecuted in the US, where it is thought there is a more realistic chance of prosecution than in UK.
But the Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that Britain could not provide any assistance to US investigators when the threat of death hung over the two men.