Contact: Tina M. Foster, (917) 442-9580, firstname.lastname@example.org
May 13, 2014, New York, NY.
The Law Office of Tina Foster today announced that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui has filed a legal case seeking to overturn her September 23, 2010 conviction by a U.S. federal court. Though Dr. Siddiqui has always maintained her innocence and there was no physical evidence to support the charges against her, Dr. Siddiqui was convicted of attempted murder while she was being interrogated by U.S. personnel at a police station in Ghazni, Afghanistan. In documents filed today under seal in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Dr. Siddiqui argues that her conviction and sentence should be vacated because the prosecution withheld crucial evidence, and that she was denied her constitutional right to counsel.
The case argues that the U.S. government illegally withheld evidence that Dr. Siddiqui and her three small children were abducted from Karachi, Pakistan in 2003 and secretly detained, interrogated and tortured in U.S. and Pakistani custody for five years prior to her arrest in 2008. Among other evidence, exhibits filed with the case include a transcript of an audio recording in which a senior Pakistani police official, Imran Shaukat, admits to his involvement in Dr. Siddiqui’s abduction from Karachi, Pakistan in March 2003. A link to the full audio recording in Urdu/Punjabi is available at the following URL:
Dr. Siddiqui also argues that she was denied her right to counsel because the judge forced her to be represented by attorneys that were not acting in her interest. The attorneys, who were paid $2 million by the Government of Pakistan, were permitted to enter the case and manage Dr. Siddiqui’s defense over her repeated objections. Though Dr. Siddiqui informed her trial attorneys that she had been in detention from 2003-2008, they did not present the information to the judge or jury at trial.
Dr. Siddiqui is currently serving an 86-year prison sentence at a U.S. federal prison at FMC Carswell in Fort Worth, TX. She is unable to speak with the media due to prison restrictions, but is presently represented by attorneys Tina Foster and Robert Boyle, both of whom stand in solidarity with the international community in condemning Dr. Siddiqui’s unfair trial and sentence.
“The evidence presented in today’s lawsuit demonstrates not only that Dr. Siddiqui did not receive a fair trial and was wrongfully convicted, but also sheds a bright light on the violations of Dr. Siddiqui’s fundamental human rights by the governments of the United States and Pakistan,” says Foster. “Despite the grotesque torture and abuse perpetrated against Dr. Siddiqui and her children, she has never advocated violence or revenge,” Foster added, “she wishes nothing more than to return to Pakistan where she can be reunited with her children and live in peace.”
Below is a rare video of Dr. Aafia Siddiqi, recorded in 1991 in Houston.
Lady of this physique is facing 86 years sentence in USA jail for snatching gun from more than one USA marine soldiers during her arrest in Afghanistan. In the process she left no finger print on the gun (as accepted by FBI official) and got shot herself.
The main allegations on her for which she was abducted (or at least CIA/ISI/FBI spread these allegations through their pets in media) were never presented in the court as they didn’t have presentable evidence. These allegations were:
1- Links with Al-Qaida
2-Invovlvement in activities like Blood Diamonds
After looking at Brian Banks case, one can easily see how much jury can be influenced by alien appearance of the person presented in front of them. Even for many Pakistani pseudo liberals or social class fascists, her head scarf and affection with religion are enough to declare her terrorist.
In Brian Banks story, he was made to go for no-contest in an allegation of rape to face less sentence as opposed to 41 years imprisonment. According to recent evidence he didn’t commit the rape. He had to go for no-contest because his lawyer suggested that if he goes for contesting the case, the jury will see him as a big black guy and will be automatically considered as guilty.
For Brian Banks story, visit the link below :
By Faisal Rahman
General (R) Pervez Musharraf, has launched his political party recently in London. Pakistan’s politics is amazing, a dictator who was all in all in his time and used to stop people from taking part in politics or coming back in the country is now forced to restart his politics from abroad.
Public opinion is divided in Pakistan over the comeback of Musharraf. It will surely not be an easy ride for him in politics. Arrival and stay in country will not be an easy task for the former dictator.
First and the biggest hurdle that will haunt him is 3rd November. It is something over which many sections of society, regardless of their social class and political affiliations, oppose him. 3rd November issue is not only related to the suspension of constitution and illegal sacking of the judiciary, but it also connects to several human rights violations to crush the lawyers movement, media and civil society.
Lal-Masjid operation, extra-judicial killings in Baluchistan, allowing US drone and missile attacks in Pakistan, NATO supplies and troops in tribal areas have put Pakistan into a real mess. The damage he did is so severe that even after two years we are facing the deadly impact. The violations of human rights in his tenure are probably worst in the history of Pakistan. Issues of missing people, particularly Dr. Aafia Siddiqi, will surely haunt him when he comes back.
The post 9/11 policies, which were mainly adapted to give legitimacy to Musharraf’s dictatorship in the eyes of world powers, have caused more than 40 billion dollars direct economic losses to Pakistan, according to government’s own sources. In Musharraf’s tenure, the real areas of economy such as agriculture , technology manufacturing and energy were not focused upon. As a result, we are undergoing food and worst energy crisis ever.
Some impression of stability was created through fictitious economy based on banking, real estate and telecom sector, which eventually resulted in the flight of capital and currency devaluation. This short sighted approach may have got him some political support, but for the country, the approach proved to be destructive in the long run. In fact, the economic bubble burst during the last days of his tenure.
Kashmir is another issue on which Musharraf needs to be questioned. According to APHC leaders, Musharraf damaged the Kashmir cause by sidelining the issue. The main leader from APHC, Syed Ali Shah Gillani, also accused Musharraf for the split of APHC. Keeping eyes close on India’s violations of Indus Water Treaty and letting India build dams was criminal negligence. His mishandling of Dr. AQ Khan’s issue and insulting the national hero will also not be forgiven by Pakistanis.
People including me often criticize the current setup, but we also need to see the cause of this mess i.e. NRO. We shouldn’t only see the ugly dry branches of the dead tree but also need to see who is responsible for the hot water going into roots.
Musharraf’s arrival is very important for Pakistan, as we need answers for many crimes he did against the nation. His arrival is important for strengthening rule of law as it will give chance to trial him for his unconstitutional actions. I am sure if people in NWFP and Baluchistan get a chance to file cases against him in the courts for his crimes against humanity, it will help in calming down the situation in many parts of our country. It will give a chance for Army to restore its image in the eyes of many, who have grievances against the national institution due to the policies by former dictators.
Musharraf’s arrival will also be a big test for our civil society, media and the Pakistani nation as a whole. It will give us a chance to set precedence of indiscriminate justice and rule of law. I hope we will take the right decisions without falling to our prejudices and greed.
Mina sent a really good poem for Dr. Aafia Siddiqi in the comment area of our post:
kitni ajeeb si baat hai ke
vo ekk guriya marmarri
apne hi mulk se hai biqqiiii
or lutt rahai hai gharri ghari
vo is watan ki beeti hai
or us watan ki bandhani
vo asmaan ko takti rehti hai
khuda ko dhoondti rehti hai
kiya mojze ajj bhi hote hain
kiya farishte ajj bhi hote hain
koi aa ke bachay lee mujh ko abb
Pakistani to gheerat per marte hain ,
kitni ajeeb si baat hai ke
betiyaan to sanjhi hoti thein
ab to jiss ki beeti hai
bass usi ki beeti hai
baqqi to sabb lutere hain
joo noch noch kar khate hain
jane qayamat kabb aye gi
shayed jabb Afia marr jaye gii……………
Saturday, 24 October 2009 11:22
The Pakistan Government has been ordered to secure the release of scientist Dr. Aafia Siddiqui from US custody.
Originally published in Pakistan, By Yvonne Ridley
The Islamabad High Court made the ground-breaking directive in a move welcomed by her family, supporters and anyone who wants to see justice delivered to a woman who has been trapped in a hellish existence for the last six years.
However, not everyone is happy that Justice Raja Saeed Akram has ordered the government to work towards bringing Aafia home.
As I discovered a few days ago during a visit to Pakistan it seems her ex-husband Dr. Muhammad Amjad Khan has been briefing against the mother of his three children.
In an exclusive interview given to Karachi journalist Aroosa Masroor at The News, Dr. Khan said that most claims about Aafia, propagated to garner public support and sympathy, are untrue.
Why he chose to break his silence after six years is not immediately obvious … unless you buy in to the crazy theory that he was instrumental in his wife’s arrest and disappearance.
Of course it would be outrageous and defamatory to suggest Dr. Khan was involved and I certainly have no evidence to suggest otherwise, but what intrigues me is why this man would want to try and deliberately mislead the public as he did in his first on-the-record interview.
I am not sure what are his motives but, in a conference I gave at the Islamabad National Press Club this week I threw out a challenge to Dr. Khan to either put up or shut up.
In his February 18 interview he said: “Aafia’s release cannot be secured by propagating stories based on falsehood and deception,” and then he went on to tell a lie so blatant that I can no longer remain silent, and here’s why.
He reckons that the iconic photograph of Aafia, slumped to one side with eyes closed, was a stunted up picture taken by her sister Fowzia years ago. He even goes into fine detail explaining her injured mouth, saying that Aafia’s upper lip was cut by a milk bottle in an accident.
Fowzia, he says, warned him at the time that if he tried to divorce Aafia, she would use the picture against him alleging him to be an abusive husband. “It was made to appear in the picture that Aafia was badly injured. Today, the same picture is being circulated in the media to claim that Aafia was tortured for years in Bagram,” he states in The News interview.
There’s no hesitation in this statement – he is very clear about the origins of ‘that picture’. Well I am also clear about the origins of ‘that picture’ because it was taken by the office of the Governor of Ghazni in July 2008.
How do I know? Because the governor told me so himself, and then showed me copies of that and other pictures taken of Aafia on the day of her arrest that he stored on his personal laptop. If you check this unedited footage shot by film-maker Hassan al Banna Ghani who accompanied me on my investigations to Pakistan and Afghanistan last year, the origins of that iconic picture become very clear.
That is why I stood up in a press conference a few days ago and called Dr. Khan a liar, and then invited him to sue me “in a court of his choice” for slander and defamation. As a journalist I know the seriousness of making such a statement and I do not make it lightly but I also mean what I say and say what I mean.
In the meantime, I will let you – the viewer – make your own judgment about the photograph of Dr. Aafia. Perhaps you have your own theories about why her ex-husband would lie. Here is the clip
The divorce was, without doubt, a very bitter experience for both sides as most divorces are. Bitterness can remain a lifetime companion, but at the end of the day Dr. Aafia is the mother of his three children and as such she deserves his support and respect.
If he can’t give it, then I suggest Dr. Khan returns to the shadows once more and stops briefing against his wife.
Sharing details of his failed marriage with Dr. Aafia, serves no purpose although I have to question why Dr. Khan signed a legal agreement whereby the custody of the three children was given to Aafia after their split, if he really thought his wife was (as he portrays in the article) … a violent, unstable woman in the sway of jihadists.
In the meantime two of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s children – Marium now aged 10, and six-year-old Suleiman – are still missing.
Perhaps that is something which would concern any parent, but Dr. Khan states casually: “I am sure they are around Karachi and in contact with their maternal family as both Aafia and the children were seen around their house here and in Islamabad on multiple occasions since their alleged disappearance in 2003.
“They may be living under an assumed identity just like Aafia and Ahmed had been living [as Saliha and Ali Ahsan] for five years before they got arrested.”
He said Dr. Fowzia’s claim that the children are missing after being removed from the Bagram prison in Afghanistan “may be an attempt to attract sympathy of the government and the people and distract its attention from the real location.”
He also attempts to pour cold water on claims that Aafiya was held in US custody, including Bagram for five years – but how would he really know?
I, on the otherhand, have eye witness accounts that the woman known as Prisoner 650 who was held in Bagram for years is none other than Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.
Even the US authorities, after months of denial, finally supported my statements and admitted that Prisoner 650 was indeed a female detainee in their custody.
The only dispute we have now is the identity of Prisoner 650. The US authorities say she isn’t Aafia but refuse to say who she is and to which country she was returned.
I, on the other hand, now have an interview statement given freely by former Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohamed confirming that Prisoner 650 and Dr. Aafia Siddiqui are one in the same. This man saw her during his time in Bagram and has made a positive identification. His evidence is, in my opinion, irrefutable.
Again, make your own judgments by checking out Binyam Mohamed’s interview through this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGHWcPRBQr8
I now understand Aafia’s case is going to be submitted to the International Court of Justice in The Hague and that the government of Pakistan is making serious efforts on this issue.
In the meantime the case against Aafia will be resumed in New York later this month after a psychologist and physician give their reports regarding her health and if she is fit to plead.
The court hearing is, in itself, illegal and I’m not sure how it can go ahead. I say that on the basis Aafia, is after all a Pakistani citizen who is being tried for an alleged offence carried out in Afghanistan. She is only standing trial in America because she was put on a rendition flight to America – and was certainly not extradited.
* Yvonne Ridley is a patron of the human rights organisation Cage Prisoners and works as a broadcast journalist. her weekly show The Agenda goes out every Friday evening 8.07(GMT) on Press TV – her website is www.yvonneridley.org
References to this aricle:
Interview with Binyam Mohamed: http://www.presstv.com/programs/player/?id=90350
Interview with Governor of Ghazni: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBhseSkNX68
Interview in The News: http://www.thenews.com.pk/print3.asp?id=20404
That’s what you call civilization. According to reports by media Dr Aafia ,after psychological examination is found mentally unfit for trial.
A trial by US government to prove innocent Dr Aafia guilty for baseless charges.
According to the news:
” A psychology exam has determined that a Pakistani woman accused of trying to kill a U.S. soldier and FBI agents is mentally unfit for trial.
A federal judge in Manhattan notified lawyers in the case Monday of the conclusions regarding Aafia Siddiqui.
Siddiqui has been charged with attempted murder and assault. Prosecutors say she grabbed a rifle at a police station in Afghanistan in July and shot at U.S. Army and law enforcement personnel.
She was shot and wounded as well and was brought to the U.S. in August. She was transferred last month to a federal facility in Texas that specializes in mental health treatment for women.
An evaluation there found she was not competent to understand the nature of court proceedings or to assist in her defense. “
Don’t Blame the Victim
On March 30, 2003, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui disappeared from Karachi along with her three minor children. Media reported that she had been taken by the US authorities with compliance of Pakistani authorities since the FBI had wanted to seek some information from her. In the face of general outcry, the US and Pakistani authorities quickly backtracked but then a year later Pakistani Foreign Office admitted publicly that Aafia had been handed over to the US.1
She became a concern for human rights organizations including Amnesty International who kept the case alive for five years. On July 6, 2008, political party Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf presented a British journalist in Islamabad who said there was reason to believe that Aafia was the “Prisoner 650″ at Bagram (Afghanistan) and had undergone brutal rape and torture for five years. Outcry reaches a high water mark and urgent appeals were sent by Asian Human Rights Commission on July 22, to President George Bush and other persons of authority.
On August 4, the US authorities officially admitted of having Aafia in their custody but the US Department of Justice brought forth a charge sheet against her, claiming that she was arrested on July 17 (and not before) while loitering around near the residence of Ghazni’s Governor. They alleged that papers found in her handbag included instructions on making bombs and notes about installations in US.
They explained her wounds by saying that a day after her arrest she took an M4 rife which belonged to US military personnel and fired two rounds at close range, which missed, and she had to be shot in the torso.
On August 16, the US envoy to Pakistan made a public statement saying that the US had no “definitive knowledge” of the whereabouts of Aafia’s children but only a few days later the Afghan authorities revealed that an 11-year-old boy had also been “arrested” with Aafia and this boy was then repatriated to be received by Aafia’s family as her eldest son.
The story narrated about this alleged episode is not plausible, and contradictions self-evident. Yet Aafia has been suffering pain and humiliation in US prison for more than two months now. There are fears that she is now being brainwashed in order to render her incapable of giving evidence against any atrocities that might have been committed against her.
Three anomalies in the trial
Basically: (a) victim has become the accused; (b) allegations are not being addressed in proper order; and (c) allegations against US authorities by human rights groups and concerned citizens are going un-addressed.
Victim has become the accused
Those who say that they hope to get justice from US legal system in this case are overlooking the fact that the trial is not being held to provide justice to Aafia. It is being held against her.2
Allegations not addressed in proper order
The case involves three allegations, not one. These need to be addressed in the order in which they appeared:
1. The FBI’s declaration that it needed Dr. Aafia Siddiqui for interrogation (2003)
2. Allegations allegation raised by human rights organizations and Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf that Aafia Siddiqui was being illegally detained, raped and tortured by US authorities (with possible compliance of Pakistani authorities) for five years, and that her three minor children were in illegal detention. July 6, 2008 is the high water mark for this allegation.
3. Allegation raised by US authorities against Dr. Aafia Siddiqui that she tried to assassinate US army personnel on July 18, 2008. This allegation was brought forth on August 4, 2008.
The first of these has not been legally pursued by authorities even after they admitted having custody of Aafia. Hence it may be considered as dropped.
The second allegation, which is against US authorities, has never been answered seriously except for a flat rebuttal in inappropriate and condescending tone (consider the US envoy’s open letter of August 16).
Now the third allegation is being addressed in a court of law without addressing the second.3 This leads to great confusion. The victim has been given into the custody of the party accused of committing offenses against her, and mandate is given to them to further curtail her liberties as a “high security risk”.
Let’s understand: it’s not as if US Government said that it would rather like to keep Aafia in a rehabilitation center in America for treatment of torments suffered by her during five-year-long illegal detention. The victim is now in custody of the party accused of committing the following atrocities against her:
1. Abduction and illegal detention of the victim
2. Abduction and illegal detention of the victim’s minor children
3. Attempt of coercing the victim to sign false evidence
4. Threatening the victim with murder of her children
5. Sexual abuse, rape and torture
6. Attempted brainwashing
7. Possibly, murder of two of the victim’s minor children
The first step should have been to ensure that the party accused of committing these offenses didn’t have any further access to her with malevolent intent. The opposite has happened.
Aafia’s transfer from military to civil authorities doesn’t ensure that her abusers have lost influence: responding to journalists’ question about why they didn’t seek bail for Aafia, her lawyer answered, “There’s more in this case than meets the eye.”
What’s going wrong now
Following incidents which can be seen as injustice or malpractice have occurred after August 6, when Aafia was first presented in New York:
1. Victim was remanded on implausible charges4
2. Bail was not even sought by her lawyers5
3. US envoy gave a questionable statement about victim’s children6
4. It’s possible that the victim’s eldest son was brainwashed before being handed over by Afghan authorities7
5. Motion to establish the victim as mentally unfit to stand trial, if accepted, will disqualify her from giving evidence later against her abusers
6. At Carswell, the victim can be at risk of being brainwashed or rendered incapable of providing evidence
Two children of the victim are still missing. If they are still alive then it is possible that they are being used as hostages to pressurize her. Allegations of her illegal detention, rape, etc, and the abduction of her children, is going unaddressed.
Can she get justice from US legal system?
That question will arise only after a case is brought up to seek justice for her. The current trial has been registered against the victim and not against her abusers.
Unfounded speculation is bad but some speculation is required for arriving anywhere in legal matters. Here we are forced to choose between two options: either the story about Aafia’s alleged arrest and shooting as told by the DOJ is true, or it is false.
The story is not likely to be true. Consider this passage from rejoinder to US envoy’s letter by Kamran Shafi, journalist and former trainer in small arms:
By the way Excellency, if you care to notice, Aafia Siddiqui is about your build and dimensions. May I suggest you get one of your Marines at the embassy to bring you a US army-issue M4 rifle. Now ask him to clear the chamber, affix the magazine, put the rifle on ‘safe’, and place it on the ground which would be the exact position in which Aafia Siddiqui found hers and with which she is alleged to have fired upon the US officer. You may very well fail to even cock it in 10 seconds, let alone find the safety catch, lift the rifle to your shoulder and fire it.8
It seems as if the US authorities knew that this story won’t stand a test in the court and their real strategy was to buy time for declaring Aafia mentally unfit or perhaps even to induce mental disorder while in custody.
Such speculation sounds harsh but once the DOJ story is rejected there is no way we can pass over it as an “honest mistake”. If the story is false then obviously we are dealing with an unusually ugly and disturbing cover-up of enormous dimensions.
We must not forget the three other victims in this case: Aafia’s minor children. The first is Ahmad Siddiqui, 11-year-old, and the anomalies in his case raise suspicions of a three-step approach to cover up brainwashing in captivity.9 First, deny having any “definitive knowledge” of the captive’s whereabouts. Second, admit that he was in detention even at the time of those denials. Third, send him home in mentally unstable state where he cannot recall details about captivity. There is a stark analogy between his fate and the contradictory reports now coming out about her mother: is she at step 2 now, undergoing brainwashing?
By the authorities’ own admission Ahmad’s detention at least from July 17 to August 22 was irregular: it was covered up despite urgent appeals from around the world.
The second victim is Aafia’s daughter Mariam, 10 years old (5 at the time of her disappearance), and the third is the youngest son Salman, 5 years old (six months at the time of his disappearance). Authorities deny having “definitive knowledge” of his whereabouts too.
It may be remembered that capture of minor children and infants for pressurizing their parents was described by Pakistan’s former president Pervez Muharraf as fair tactic while participating in American War Against Terror.10
What needs to be done
We need to be absolutely clear that the real issue here is the second set of allegations in which Aafia is victim, not accused.
By remaining silent on that issue now, the whole world is allowing a victim to become accused. Since this has already become one of the most famous trials of the new century, a bad precedent in this matter is likely to affect the future of human rights for very long time and almost everywhere in the world. Time is of essence here, because it seems as if evidence is being destroyed very fast.
The following steps may need to be taken without losing any further time:
1. Human rights groups in US should file petition in a US court to the effect that Aafia’s trial is unfair and should be dismissed. It needs to be dismissed immediately, and in any case latest by November 7, i.e. forty days before the date which has been set for hearing whether or not Aafia is mentally fit to stand trial: there is reason to suspect that some foul play is going on which is likely to accomplish its ends by that date and evidence related to actual culprits will have been destroyed, possibly including memory of the victim herself.
2. Separately, a complaint should be lodged against culprits who victimized Aafia earlier, and a plea should be made for the recovery of her two missing children.
3. All peaceful and healthy means should be used for educating people in as many countries as possible about the AAFIA issue – especially the message that a victim should not be victimized and the meaning of justice should not be distorted.11
4. Concerned citizens of the world need to explore whether there is a proper channel for taking up this issue beyond slogans, protests and demonstrations. If no such channel exists then it needs to be created.
5. If any rights group decides to make a separate committee for pursuing this case, then that committee should also look into the wider implications and related issues, and hence “AAFIA” might be a good acronym for “Affirmative Action for the Freedom and Independence of All” (Aafia literally means comprehensive safety). Fresh grounds need to be broken for safeguarding human rights in these new times.
United Nations was a giant step towards peace, but what about “united humanity”? We need to alter certain perceptions now and we need to set new precedents.
Consequences for everyone
Terrorism is a serious threat which should not be trivialized the way it has been through the victimization of Aafia Siddiqui and her minor children. Genuine efforts being made against terrorism will also earn a bad name, if not fall flat on their face, if moral superiority is lost – and it will be lost if injustice in the case of Aafia Siddiqui completes its course.
The case is so complex, and its details so gruesome, that many still may not have realized what the possible outcome of her mistreatment might turn out to be. The analysis offered here may not be how everyone is seeing things now but it is likely to be how these things will be seen in times to come, as the truth gradually seeps into people’s conscience.
Then a great setback for human rights may be suffered because in our times such rights rest on the premise that people are entities who should be respected, their humanity cannot be usurped by any government and a person cannot be objectified before the mystique of state. Losing this one case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui can mean losing the very premise of human rights, and losing it in bright limelight.12
It is not just about Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, but rather ironically, it is also about what her first name means literally in her native language: comprehensive safety. She is a highly educated woman who made it to the upper strata of middle class in two societies – Pakistan and US. What happened to her can happen to anyone, and it may happen more easily in future if bad precedent is set now.
For America, it is a moment of truth. The international community has been hearing so much about the “deposed” Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry, who used to take suo moto action on such cases, forcing his government and its much-dread intelligence agencies to become answerable to the court. For that he risked his job, personal freedom and the future of his children. Global observers are likely to notice that no judge in US seems to be as willing to take suo moto action in this case as Justice Chaudhry of Pakistan would have been even if such thing had been found in his jurisdiction. Tables are turning: at the going rate it might not be very long before US finds itself lagging behind developing countries in matters of awareness about human rights among the masses. For its own good, US ought to revise its take on this case.
1 Her children were not mentioned by FO, but President Musharraf later dropped hint in his autobiography that “arresting” minors and even infant children of accused was part of tactics being used in the US War Against Terror.
2 In the case of rape, the term “victim” is applied to the aggrieved party even before her case is proven true in a court.
3 I am presuming that the first allegation has already been dropped by the party which raised it, so we need not address it anymore. In all fairness, we should be open to give it due importance, with proper attention to the whole context, in case the first party (i.e. the FBI) chooses to bring it back in the future.
4 Charge sheet against Aafia was implausible and inaccuracies could have been exposed through a simple simulation/demonstration. Yet the American judge gave remand of her person instead of sending her to a hospital as she deserved in view of her condition (she was still bleeding from bullet wounds)
5 Why should seeking bail be so difficult in a case where the accusation doesn’t pass the test of common sense, let alone legal proceeding? More importantly, why was bail not even sought?
6 On August 16, the US envoy to Pakistan stated publicly that the US authorities have no definitive knowledge of the whereabouts of Aafia’s children. About ten days later the Afghan authorities stated that they had also “arrested” a boy along with Aafia. One could smell a rat here: a person of such prominence as US envoy is unlikely to risk a misleading statement unless the stakes are really high.
7 Aafia’s son, finally repatriated by Afghan authorities, cannot recall much and is having nightmares. Did the authorities deny knowledge of his whereabouts initially because at that time they were brainwashing him and were still unsure that it would work?
8 Published in Dawn (Karachi) on October 14. Earlier on September 10, Joane Mariner, an attorney with Human Rights Watch in New York wrote in Counterpunch, “If you trust the US story, you have to imagine that… more than the al Qaeda mom, as the New York Post dubs her, she would have to be al Qaeda’s Angelina Jolie.”
9 The word “definitive knowledge” in US envoy’s statement leaves an uncomfortable impression of preparing for a future moment when it may turn out to be otherwise and then it could be said that the knowledge which the US authorities had in this matter was not “definitive” but of some other sort (The statement said, “The United States has no definitive knowledge as to the whereabouts of Ms Siddiqui’s children”). Was Ahmad being subjected to brainwashing so that his detention could not be revealed till making sure that the process had been successful?
10 In the Line of Fire: A Memoir by Pervez Musharraf published in 2006 by Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, p.224.
11 In Pakistan and Islamic countries this case study can be specially useful: given the peculiar nature of this case, the masses are likely to accept the message and apply it to other injustices against the weak.
12 In Pakistan, even now the HRCP might be facing a crisis about its credibility with the masses, who generally feel that the HRCP has done less than what was expected of it in this regards.
It is a real shame for US system of justice(if there is any) that they have given a shameful judgement to transfer Dr. Aafia ( another victim of US war against humanity and peace) to “Carsewell Psychiatric Centre” known as “house of horror” for its abusive treatment with the patients specially women.
We demand the world human rights activists specially in USA to help Dr. Aafia in getting justice and freedom.
We strongly condemn the un-just ruling by the US court and demand justice for Aafia and her children.
|US court’s psychiatric evaluation of Dr Aafia slated(the newss)|
|By By our correspondent
|KarachiDr Fouzia Siddiqui, sister of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, expressed shock over the ruling of Judge Berman in which he ordered the transfer of Aafia to Carswell Psychiatric Centre in Fort-Worth, Texas for psychiatric evaluation along with a ‘Use of Force Order’.
In a hurriedly called press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Monday, Fouzia said that her sister detained by the US authorities was already diagnosed with ‘Chronic Depressive Psychosis,’ which is understandable under the circumstances in which she has endured horrific mental and physical abuse. “This diagnosis was a beacon of hope for the family as it meant that Aafia will get the required treatment and will eventually be freed or repatriated to Pakistan,” said Fouzia. She added that the transfer of Aafia to this notorious horror centre means even worse abuse and solitary incarceration for an unlimited period without further due process and without further trial.
“There is no justification against Aafia to keep her in prison anymore, this is a new tactic of the US government to keep her in detention under the pretext of psychiatric evaluation, which is commonly used against inmates when government lacks evidence for holding them,” explained Fouzia. “The question arises as why the prosecution is so keen for her psychiatric/ mental evaluation?” She has already been diagnosed by American doctors and was supposed to be followed by requisite treatment, she added. “Is this evaluation just a pretext to affect her memory and bring it in line with something they have concocted about the past five years?”
Fouzia urged for the best treatment and care for Aafia. She also advocated for Aafia’s immediate repatriation in order for her to acquire a sense of security that she has been deprived for so long. It will raise the morale of our nation and strengthen our democratic claims.
She thanked the current Government of Pakistan for all its cooperation in this regard but said that the Siddiqui family needs an official pledge of financial assistance for a legal team of their choice. So that they can start a vigorous defence while the repatriation is in process. “I fear Aafia may not have long to live,” she lamented. Fouzia says that her sister’s salvation lies not in locking her in a psychiatric institute, putting her through dehumanising strip searches, chaining her to beds, floor hooks or walls, rather, she should be reunited with her family.
“It seems that these “intelligence” or “investigative” agencies have been scheming to sculpt a story in the international media to show that she is mentally unfit and whatever she says now can be easily dismissed as the ravings of a lunatic. If they are successful then the horrors that Aafia, her children, and many others have been put through will go un-noticed,” she said.
“The struggle to have Aafia’s true story told and her health improved is the duty of everyone who believes in human dignity,” she said. The torture now is sophisticated, invisible, subliminal and mental. For example, she was shown a glimpse of her brother and then no more. She was given hope to call her family but it was delayed and eventually taken away. This is completely unnecessary, uncivil and out of order. We believe that a competency examination of Aafia should not be undertaken until she is treated for her obviously incapacitating mental illness and healing of gunshot wounds.
The current Pakistan government has assured the family that they have already approached the US authorities officially and expressed the hope that Aafia will be repatriated. Iqbal Haider of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan was also present on the occasion.
Aafia in better health but vague about missing years(daily times)
* Aafia tells Pakistani senators charges against her baseless, has no confidence in her lawyers, US court
* Claims she was tortured, made to sign documents, being forced to admit things
By Khalid Hasan
WASHINGTON: Dr Aafia Siddiqui, now being held in a Texas facility for psychiatric evaluation to determine if she is fit to stand trial, was allowed to meet the four-member Pakistani parliamentary delegation for two hours 45 minutes on Tuesday.
Siddiqui appeared to be in much better health and physical condition than she has been since her arrest, allegedly in Afghanistan, and her removal by US authorities to the United States to face trial for attacking US personnel with an assault weapon, a story whose credibility will be tested in court. The four-member delegation from Pakistan is made up of Senator Mushahid Hussain, Sen SM Zafar, Muhammad Talha Mahmood and Saadia Khaqqan Abbasi. The four lawmakers, accompanied by Faqir Asif Hussain, counsellor at the Pakistan embassy, were able to meet Siddiqui without the presence of a US official. She was also permitted to sit next to them, instead of being separated by a partition, as is normally the case.
Lack of confidence: Siddiqui told her visitors that the assault case against her had no basis in fact. She also expressed her lack of confidence in both the court hearing her case and the two lawyers who are representing her. While thanking the Pakistani government and the embassy in Washington in particular for their concern, she indicated that she should be provided with proper legal representation. Her bullet wound suffered during her alleged scuffle with armed US guards while being questioned after her arrest from a government compound in Ghazni, Afghanistan, she said, had healed. She said she wanted the case against her dropped and she wished to be returned to Pakistan.
Siddiqui was unable to explain to the four Pakistani lawmakers, including one of the country’s leading lawyers, SM Zafar, where exactly she had been for the last five years. Her sense of time and place appeared to be out of sync. She said she was on her way to the Karachi airport in 2003 with her children when she was taken. She remembers being given an injection and when she came to she was in a cell. She said she was being brainwashed by men who spoke perfect English. They could be Afghan or others. She did not think they were Pakistanis. She said she was being forced to admit things she had allegedly done. She was made to sign statements, some of which included information on phone calls she was said to have made. She also stated that she had been tortured but she provided no details. She was told by her captors that if she did not co-operate, her children would suffer. Her account of the five years she had been missing remained incoherent, unsequenced and extremely vague. Her visitors did not press her hard but they returned unsatisfied with what they had been told. She said she did not know where her children were. Her son, allegedly arrested with her in Ghazni, has since been returned to Pakistan. She was vague about her other two children and it was not clear if they had been with her during her captivity.