Faraj Hassan Alsaadi

September 3, 2010

The eyes shed tears, the heart grieves, but we do not say except that which pleases our Lord

It is with the utmost sadness that we share the heartbreaking news that former detainee Faraj Hassan Alsaadi died in a tragic motorcycle accident on August 16th at 9am. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon – to God we belong and to Him we return. His last night in this world was spent in defence of his sister, Aafia Siddiqui, speaking to a crowd of 300 in her support at the ‘Aafia – the Last Stand’ rally and supplicating for her in an unprecedented act, leading 90 people in qiyaam and qunut outside the US embassy, London.

As he died whilst fasting in the blessed month of Ramadhan, we pray that the hadith is glad tidings for him –“Whoever fasts one day seeking the Face of Allah and that was his final action, will enter Paradise.” (Ahmad)

Faraj Hassan came to the UK in 2002, fleeing persecution in his native Libya. He was arrested shortly thereafter and spent 15 months detained without trial before being eventually charged under the Terrorism Act in 2003 and served with an Italian extradition warrant. Although the extradition order was ultimately suspended he continued to be detained for another four years in HMP Long Lartin on the basis of secret evidence, with the government seeking to deport him to Libya. Whilst his deportation was ruled unlawful, he was then made the subject of a control order (virtual house arrest) in addition to a UN financial sanction which prevented him from obtaining any income.

After almost 8 years of detention in prison and house arrest, the control order was finally revoked in November 2009 and Faraj was a free man. He was not charged with any offence nor was he presented with any evidence against him.

In his eight months as a free man he tirelessly and selflessly devoted his liberty to the defence of prisoners and their families, acting most notably as a spokesman for the charity, HHUGS. Outraged by the case of Aafia Siddiqui, Faraj got involved with JFAC, participating in ourSeven Days for Seven Years Vigil in May 2010, outside the US embassy, London. He was one of the few die-hard campaigners who braved the elements and remained outside the embassy despite the heavy rains and prohibition of erecting any shelter or tent. He led five other men that night in prayer, in the rain, making du’a for Aafia. He travelled as far as Portsmouth on his bike, at short notice, to show solidarity with campaigners who had organised a local event for Dr Siddiqui, and would take the initiative to raise her case at mosques and centres around the country.  Faraj was invited to the lead the prayers outside the US embassy for Aafia in Ramadhan as he was also a haafidh al-Qur’an with ijaazah in the riwaayaat of Qaalun ‘an Naafi, Hafs ‘an ‘Aasim and Khalaf ‘an Hamza. He was studying the remainder of the Qira’aat prior to his death.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with Faraj’s family at this most difficult time.  He leaves behind him three beautiful children under 9, with no family in the UK. We ask Allah that He grants them the strength, patience and fighting spirit that surpasses that of their father, aameen.

We encourage all individuals of conscience to join the Facebook In Memoriam page for Faraj Hassan to share your memories of Faraj and leave messages of condolence for his family.  The outpouring of grief and support therein is testimony to the affection in which he was held, which we pray is a sign of His Love for his slave.

A trust fund will be set up in the coming weeks which we equally encourage all visitors to donate to, to support his family in the coming months and years. In the interim period we ask people to donate via the JFAC account. Please ensure that you include the reference ‘Faraj’ when transferring or depositing funds. For further information please visit www.farajhassan.com.

We pray that those reading this will take inspiration from his life and from his death.