[Pnews] What about the case of Aafi a Siddiqui?
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Dec 26 14:24:43 EST 2014
*What about the case of Aafi a Siddiqui?*
By Nisa Islam Muhammad <http://www.twitter.com/nisaislam> -Staff Writer-
Updated Dec 26, 2014 - 12:19:27 PM
WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com) - “The troubling case of Aafia Siddiqui
becomes more embarrassing with the passing of time for those of us who
believe that the United States, in its ideals and history, has something
positive to offer the rest of the world. Do we not defend human rights?
We are the good guys, are we not,” said Dr. Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad,
president of the Minaret of Freedom Institute at a press conference
December 10, on International Human Rights Day.
The case of Aafiq Siddiqui mobilized supporters around the country that
day to once again call for her release from FMC Carswell in Fort Worth,
Texas and return to Pakistan.
Since she has not been seen by family or friends in months, her physical
and psychological status is questioned by her supporters. They are
calling for an independent medical team to conduct a full examination of
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.
“The evaluation team should include her sister, Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui, a
practicing physician in Karachi, Pakistan,” said human rights activist
Mauri Saalakhan, head of the Peace Thru Justice Foundation who has
organized support for Dr. Siddiqui around the country.
“We also urge the government to engage in serious discussion on the
repatriation of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui to her home country, Pakistan, to
allow her to serve out the remainder of her sentence there, under the
appropriate international law. Until such time as repatriation takes
place, we urge the government to insure that Dr. Siddiqui’s human rights
are respected by all agents of the U.S. government.”
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is an MIT and Brandeis University educated neuro
scientist whose been called everything from Prison 650 to Lady al-Qaeda
after being captured in 2003 and imprisoned in Afghanistan at what many
believe was one of America’s torture chambers.
She was released in 2008 with what she says was a bag that her captors
gave her that contained U.S. maps and bomb making materials. Moments
later she was arrested. During her interrogation she was accused of
grabbing a rifle and firing. She was charged with attempted murder and
assault with a deadly weapon.
Dr. Siddiqui was flown to America and while imprisoned her health
deteriorated so that at her trial she only weighed 90 pounds. She
denied all of the charges, was denied the lawyer of her choice and when
all was said and done she was sentenced to 86 years in prison.
“How different is it for Aafia to be denied the lawyer of her choice
from Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian held in Iran being denied
the lawyer of his choice?,” asked Dr. Ahmad. “How different is her
detention and torture at Bagram from journalist Maziar Bahari’s
detention and torture at Evin Prison, except that her detention was
secret and much longer? Why is it that the propaganda around her case
continues to be framed as connected to terrorism when she has never been
charged with terrorism?”
He then asked the audience what the U.S. would demand if an American
citizen were treated this way by some foreign government, for example in
a Muslim country.
“If a White American, Christian woman were to be held in secret in
prison without charge for years, separated from her children whose fate
would not be known for years, if ever, then convicted of shooting a
soldier when the only physical evidence is that it was only she who was
shot at,” he said.
“Sentenced and confined to a maximum security medical facility and
deprived of contact with her family and countrymen and were informed by
her captors that she no longer wanted to appeal her legal case or to
speak to her family, what would we do?”
The answers to those questions are why mobilizations in support of Dr.
Siddiqui were held in South Africa, the United Kingdom and other cities
around the world on International Human Rights Day.
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