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          <h1 class="gmail-reader-title">Who Is Aafia Siddiqui?</h1>
          <div class="gmail-credits gmail-reader-credits">By Maysa Fouly
            - September 26, 2021<br>
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href="https://coremiddleeast.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/1228211-2092683471.jpg"
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                        alt=""
src="https://coremiddleeast.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/1228211-2092683471.jpg"
                        style="margin-right: 0px;"
                        moz-do-not-send="true" width="411" height="452">
                    </a> In this file photo, supporters of MuttehdaQaumi
                    Movement (MQM) are protesting for the release of
                    Dr.AafiaSiddiqui during a rally in Karachi.
                    (Shutterstock) </div>
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                    <p><span>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.</span></p>
                    <p><span><span>According to her</span> <a
href="https://www.siasat.com/who-is-dr-aafia-siddiqui-and-why-is-she-trending-on-twitter-2193970/"
                          moz-do-not-send="true">sister,</a> <span>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.</span></span></p>
                    <p><span>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. </span></p>
                    <p><span><span><span>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</span> <a
href="https://www.siasat.com/who-is-dr-aafia-siddiqui-and-why-is-she-trending-on-twitter-2193970/"
                            moz-do-not-send="true">unfit</a></span> <span><span>to
                            stand a trial. Media outlets, however,
                            continue to describe her as</span> <a
href="https://www.meforum.org/62644/american-islamists-advocate-for-lady-al-qaeda"
                            moz-do-not-send="true">“Lady Al-Qaeda”.</a></span></span></p>
                    <p><span>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.</span></p>
                    <p><span>“<span>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.”</span></span></p>
                    <p><span>“<span>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.</span></span></p>
                    <p><span>Currently, she is imprisoned in the Federal
                        Medical Center (FMC), which is famous for the
                        abuse of female prisoners. </span></p>
                    <p><span><span>Since Imran Khan held power in
                          Pakistan, he has called on the American
                          authorities to <a
href="https://www.geo.tv/latest/320067-government-working-on-getting-dr-aafia-siddiqui-back-home-babar-awan-says"
                            moz-do-not-send="true">release</a></span> <span>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. </span></span></p>
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                  <p>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.</p>
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