[Ppnews] US Court to hear Aafia's lawyers appeal against sentence today

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Feb 10 10:32:46 EST 2012

2 articles follow

Court to hear Aafia's lawyers appeal against sentence


By <http://tribune.com.pk/author/78/app/>APP
Published: February 10, 2012

NEW YORK: A three judge panel of the US Court of 
Appeals is set to hear an appeal by Dr Aafia 
Siddiqui’s lawyers, against her September 2010 
conviction on charges for attempting to kill 
American intelligence officers in Afghanistan in 2008.

On February 9, her counsel, Dawn Cardi, will 
present her argument before the panel to overturn 
the judgement against her client, while the 
prosecution will seek dismissal of the appeal.

Dr Siddiqui, a Pakistani neuroscientist, was 
sentenced to 86 years in prison by the Federal 
District Court in New York City, while she has 
consistently denied the charges levelled against her, pleading her innocence.

On April 2011, her 
had filed an appeal. Her court-appointed lawyer 
Cardi says the ‘multifaceted’ appeal will 
challenge the “court’s decision, the several 
legal issues with the trial, the introduction of 
evidence as well as how Siddiqui was allowed to 
testify given what we believe was her diminished capacity.”

However less than a month after the sentencing, 
Siddiqui fired her lawyers and waived her right 
to an appeal. Siddiqui wrote that she had fired 
her five lawyers and would be represented by 
Farha Ahmed, a Texas-based attorney.

Cardi had said that she had been in touch with 
Siddiqui’s family through a representative. When 
asked if they were supportive of the appeal, she 
said, “I don’t know nor do I care. It is my 
responsibility and I am obligated to file an appeal.”

Recently, there were reports that Pakistan’s 
Ambassador to the US 
Rehman met with Tina Foster, Dr Siddiqui’s lawyer 
from International Justice Network.

Foster had apprised the ambassador of her 
client’s situation and discussed with her various 
options to ease Aafia’s conditions of 
incarceration, and in the long term, her repatriation to Pakistan.

Arrested in July 2008 in Ghazni, Afghanistan, on 
allegations of being an al Qaeda operative and 
facilitator, Siddiqui was flown to New York where 
she was kept in a high security prison.

The neuroscientist’s case, who is a graduate of 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and 
Brandeis University,  has garnered global 
attention, particularly Pakistan, where protests 
demanding her release and repatriation to the 
country are held regularly by political and religious parties.

Human Rights groups have also conducted campaigns 
demanding her release or a lenient sentence.

Dr Fowzia Siddiqui’s open letter to President Zardari

Fowzia Siddiqui - Feb 9th, 2012


February 8, 2012

Mr.Asif Ali Zardari,


Islamic republic of Pakistan,

  Re: Aafia’s Upcoming Appeal Process, the Role 
of Your Government, and Broken promises.

  Dear Sir,

This Friday, February 10, 2012, the world will be 
watching as court-appointed attorneys (who are 
paid by the US government, and Aafia has 
repeatedly attempted to fire) – will argue before 
a US Court of Appeals and purport to represent my 
sister’s interests against her will.  This 
mockery of justice is simply yet another example 
of how Aafia’s conviction of a crime she did not 
commit is virtually guaranteed in the US 
“justice” system.  Meanwhile, US agents who have 
perpetrated crimes against her – including 
kidnapping, torture, assault, and false 
imprisonment, have not been called to account.

  It has now been three and a half years since 
agents of the US government shot my sister and 
the beginning of the 10th year since she was 
abducted – a Pakistani citizen – abducted from 
Pakistan through a rendition operation locked up 
in Afghanistan, and forcibly removed from 
Afghanistan after an implausible shoot out, and 
illegally transferred her to the United States.

  So-called “high-profile” American criminal 
defense attorneys convinced the government of 
Pakistan to pay them millions of dollars – and 
then refused to resign when Aafia did not accept 
them. Neither did the Pakistani Government 
intervene. There can no longer be any doubt that 
Aafia will never receive justice in the US legal system.

I want to remind you today of the promises that 
you made, your Prime Minister made, Interior 
Ministry made and Foreign Ministry made. The 
promises that said Aafia will be back. Raymond 
Davis and several other mercenaries have walked 
free from our land, but innocent citizens are 
languishing due to the negligence and criminal silence of your administration.

  Now, more than ever, the fate of this Daughter 
of the Nation lies in the hands of the Pakistani 
government to bring her home. We can only but 
request and protest, How you respond to our 
plea’s will be your legacy and will define our 
nation, let it be of Pride not Shame.

Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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