[Pnews] Who Is Aafia Siddiqui?

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sun Sep 26 11:42:30 EDT 2021

coremiddleeast.com <https://coremiddleeast.com/who-is-aafia-siddiqui/>

  Who Is Aafia Siddiqui?

By Maysa Fouly - September 26, 2021
In this file photo, supporters of MuttehdaQaumi Movement (MQM) are 
protesting for the release of Dr.AafiaSiddiqui during a rally in 
Karachi. (Shutterstock)

Since the onset of the so-called global war on terror, the US has been 
trying to give credence to the idea that it has the right to torture or 
kill whoever is suspected to have ties with Al-Qaeda. This week, social 
media users have used their platforms to call on authorities to release 
Dr. Aafia Siddique. Dr. Aafia, a US citizen of Pakistani origin and a 
Ph.D. holder from MIT, is being held in US prisoners under the guise of 
fighting terrorism. In 2003, Aafia and her three kids, Ahmed, Maryam, 
and Sulayman were allegedly tortured, kidnapped, hooded, and drugged, 
before being taken to Bagram prison, an American-based prison in 
Afghanistan famous for brutal torture of prisoners.

According to her sister, 
Fawzia Siddiqui, Aafia was tortured, sexually harassed, and raped by the 
American soldiers. In addition to that, she was forced to walk on the 
Quran naked. Prisoners, moreover, said they heard her screaming every 
day because of the torture she had to endure for weeks. This has 
prompted them to start a six-day hunger strike in protest of her abuse. 
These reports were given credence by a British journalist Yvonne Ridley, 
who told a Pakistani news agency that a Pakistani woman is being held 
and tortured for years in Bargam prison.

In 2008, according to an American Scenario, Aafia was behind a curtain 
and saw a gun in front of her. Then she jumped out from behind the 
curtain and fired shots at the soldiers, and wrestled several to the 
ground before being shot herself. Aafia’s supporters, nonetheless, said 
it’s a scenario, pioneered by the American soldiers because Aafia’s 
health condition was not good enough to be able to hold a gun and 
terrorize US soldiers.

In 2010, Aafia was deported to the US, where she faced her first trial 
and was sentenced to 86-year in prison. Her supporters argue that her 
imprisonment is unfair. Health Experts deemed her unfit 
to stand a trial. Media outlets, however, continue to describe her as 
“Lady Al-Qaeda”. 

The testimony of the US government’s six eyewitnesses contradicts each 
other and they used “forced confessions” solicited from Dr. Aafia whilst 
under pressure in hospital, alleging her supporters.

“The power you gave them to torture me, rape me, and every time allow 
them to search me naked. I’m dead,” exclaimed Dr. Aafia in her speech at 
her sentencing. She further added, “I was dead since the very first time 
I was raped and searched naked.”

“Each and every time you need to present me in court – I’m searched 
naked… leave me alone or send me back to my country, Pakistan,” Dr. 
Aafia stated.

Currently, she is imprisoned in the Federal Medical Center (FMC), which 
is famous for the abuse of female prisoners.

Since Imran Khan held power in Pakistan, he has called on the American 
authorities to release 
Aafia, but in vain. Social media users, at least from 16 countries, have 
used the hash tag #free_sister_aafia, hoping to bring her issue to the 
forefront of media outlets.


Maysa Fouly is a political researcher holding a bachelor's degree in 
political science from the British University in Egypt in partnership 
with the London South Bank University in the UK. She graduated with 
first-class Honours, ranking third on her cohort (UK degree). In 
addition to her academic success, she has been an intern in various 
research centers, councils, magazines, and journals. She has around 13 
published articles, including journalistic and academic ones (in English 
and Arabic). She is interested in Middle East politics, international 
relations, international security, and regional studies.

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