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.”
Few days ago I shared a news from UN website regarding forced conversion. Here is the other side of the story. Case is in Sind High Court, hopefully there will be a fair decision
by Sarfaraz Memon (Express Tribune)
SUKKUR: Faryal Shah (Rinkle Kumari) appeared before the media on Thursday and made it clear that she had not been kidnapped and had not been forced to convert to Islam and marry Naveed Shah.
Faryal said that she had converted to Islam and had married Naveed Shah of her own free will, and that nobody had pressurised her into this. Reading out the Kalma-e-Tayyaba, Faryal said she was a Muslim girl and therefore had nothing to do with her parents.
Faryal (Rinkle Kumari) and her husband Naveed Shah were produced in front of the Sindh High Court (SHC) Sukker bench on Thursday morning amid tight security.
The couple was escorted by SSP Ghotki Pir Mohammad Shah along with a heavy contingent of police. Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) MNA Mian Abdul Haq of Bharchoondi Sharif, his son Mian Mohammad Aslam and a large number of their followers were also present.
The couple through their lawyer, Achar Gabole, had filed a constitutional petition stating that their lives were under threat from the relatives of the girl, who had been issuing threats of dire consequences.
Answering a question on threats to their lives, she said, “Our lives are under threat from my maternal uncle Raj Kumar”. She once again made it clear that she was a Muslim and wanted to live with her husband Naveed Shah.
Advocate Mohammad Murad Lund, who was representing Faryal’s grandfather Manohar Lal, told The Express Tribune that the single bench comprising of Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh without recording the statement of the girl had ordered SSP Ghotki to provide protection to the couple and ensure that they are produced before the SHC chief justice in Karachi on March 12.
Advocate Mohammad Murad Lund kept on insisting that, the girl was under pressure due to the presence of a large number of Bharchoondi Sharif followers. He said everything will become “crystal clear” in Karachi, as the girl would be able to record her statement in a tension free atmosphere.
Mian Mohammad Aslam of Bharchoondi Sharif said that everyone had seen that Faryal was neither under pressure and had not said a word against the Pirs. “Rather she gave a statement against her own maternal uncle who is threatening to kill her.”
He said his father, PPP MNA Mian Abdul Haq had also come to the court because the girl’s parents had requested that they wanted to meet their daughter, but they didn’t come to see her.
Aslam said when the couple had come to Dargah Bharchoondi Sharif on February 24, Faryal had spoken to her parents on his instructions and had told them that she had come there to convert to Islam and marry Naveed Shah.
“I personally requested them to come over and meet their daughter to see for themselves that she was not under pressure, but they didn’t’ come,” Mian Aslam said.
He once again said that neither Islam nor the law of the land allowed forced conversion.
This seems really pathetic. there is no room for these type of actions neither in constitution nor in Islam. forceful conversion is not allowed and directly against Quran. I think human rights organizations especially some of rich or political class hindu community member can raise the issue in high court or supreme court or even in Sharia Court as it is a direct violation of Islamic law as well. Only conversion allowed is voluntary conversion by heart. Also I believe Islamic organizations can help in this as it is a direct insult and misuse of Islam.
“Even after a year of `marriage’ I am not used to my new name. I was called Radha before,” she told IRIN on a rare occasion when she was allowed to go to the corner shop on her own to buy vegetables.
Ameena, or Radha as she still calls herself, was abducted from Karachi about 13 months ago by a group of young men who offered her ice-cream and a ride in their car. Before she knew what was happening, she was dragged into a larger van, and driven to an area she did not know.
She was then pressured into signing forms which she later found meant she was married to Ahmed Salim, 25; she was converted to a Muslim after being asked to recite some verses in front of a cleric. She was obliged to wear a veil. Seven months ago, Ameena, who has not seen her parents or three siblings since then and “misses them a lot”, moved with her new family to southern Punjab.
“The abduction and kidnapping of Hindu girls is becoming more and more common,” Amarnath Motumal, a lawyer and leader of Karachi’s Hindu community, told IRIN. “This trend has been growing over the past four or five years, and it is getting worse day by day.”
He said there were at least 15-20 forced abductions and conversions of young girls from Karachi each month, mainly from the multi-ethnic Lyari area. The fact that more and more people were moving to Karachi from the interior of Sindh Province added to the dangers, as there were now more Hindus in Karachi, he said.
“They come to search for better schooling, for work and to escape growing extremism,” said Motumal who believes Muslim religious schools are involved in the conversion business.
“Hindus are non-believers. They believe in many gods, not one, and are heretics. So they should be converted,” said Abdul Mannan, 20, a Muslim student. He said he would be willing to marry a Hindu girl, if asked to by his teachers, “because conversions brought big rewards from Allah [God]. But later I will marry a `real’ Muslim girl as my second wife,” he said.
According to local law, a Muslim man can take more than one wife, but rights activists argue that the law infringes the rights of women and needs to be altered.
Motumal says Hindu organizations are concerned only with the “forced conversion” of girls under 18. “Adult women are of course free to choose,” he said.
Sunil Sushmt, 40, who lives in a village close to the city of Mirpurkhas in central Sindh Province, said his 14-year-old daughter was “lured away” by an older neighbour and, her parents believe, forcibly converted after marriage to a Muslim. “She was a child. What choice did she have?” her father asked. He said her mother still cries for her “almost daily” a year after the event.
According to official figures, Hindus based mainly in Sindh make up 2 percent of Pakistan’s total population of 165 million. “We believe this figure could be higher,” Motumal said.
“My family has lived in Sindh for generations,” Parvati Devi, 70, told IRIN. “But now I worry for the future of my granddaughters and their children. Maybe we too should leave,” she said. “The entire family is seriously considering this.”
*not her real name
Reports of Afia Siddiqui getting cancer and pregnant due to sexual abuse–>This case is enough to say that ISI is trash
Afia Siddiqui case is alone enough to say that ISI is like a truck of filthy garbage and must be grounded for sure. They have got too much authority to sell the country and its people. These morons are good for nothing. The best scenario for Pakistan will be if these feudal-corporatist and Khaki ruling elite keep fighting with each other and destroy each other. Then a new Pakistan can emerge out of it , more free, more justice-loving and more prosperous.
Below is a news report stating some shameful things which also tells us about the hypocritical justice system of United States of America. The details may be a bit exaggerated or some of the details might not be as they are but over all context is disturbing about her condition and her family facing problems to find details about her. But the main culprit is ISI as I don’t expect miracles from USA marines or security institutions.
We hope that people with sense of justice and humanity will stand up in United States of America and will raise their voice against this injustice.
Dr Afia Siddiqui gets pregnant, contracts cancer in US jail
By Shahid Abbasi –
Karachi: Pakistani scientist Dr Afia Siddiqui, who is serving 86-year imprisonment in a US prison cell, has contracted cancer and allegedly become pregnant as a result of sexual abuse during her confinement.
Talking to The News Tribe, her sister Dr Dr Fouzia Siddiqui said she had come to know through Pakistani Consul General in Houston that Dr Afia Siddiqui had been diagnosed with a cancer. She added that earlier there were reports that the Pakistani scientist had become pregnant due to alleged sexual abuse during imprisonment. However, the Pakistan Embassy has not playing its role in either confirming or rejecting the reports.
She said that former Pakistan Ambassador to US Hussain Haqqani was called back the next day when he told us the condition of Dr Afia.
She quoted Pakistan Consul General Aqil Nadeem as saying that he was requesting the jail authorities for providing medical facilities to the Pakistani scientist.
Dr Fouzia said keeping in view the reputation of the Roswell jail and the nature of her sister’s disease the request was insufficient.
She urged the Pakistan Embassy to arrange a team of physicians comprising doctors from jail as well as from private sector for Dr Afia Siddiqui.
Dr Fouzia said that newly-appointed Pakistan Ambassador to US Sherry Rehman had assured her all possible help before leaving for America to take up her new assignment. However, despite making contact with her, the envoy has not given any response in this regard.
Speaking about the reports of Dr Afia’s alleged pregnancy, she said that her family was told about it after the Pakistani scientist showed some symptoms in the women jail.
Dr Fouzia appealed to the US and Pakistani authorities to arrange a telephonic conversation of her mother with Dr Afia.
Earlier, British journalist and human rights activistYvonne Ridley had declared the long punishment of Dr Afia as just ‘one step away from death’.
Talking about attitude of Pakistani politicians being adopted on the Dr Afia issue, she said that she would not believe in their statements until and unless her sister returns to Pakistan. Dr Fouzia complained that the politicians had only exploited the Dr Afia issue just to gain political mileage.
She said that the Pakistani scientist had been provided substandard food, which led to health problems at the jail as she had complained of it during her earlier telephonic conversations.
According to Pakistani TV anchor Aamir Liaquat Hussain, he had received information from his friends in the US that Dr Afia had contracted cancer and will be killed during confinement.
The renowned anchor said that the Pakistani scientist can be brought back through diplomatic efforts.
In a video uploaded on Youtube, Hussain said that Dr Afia had become pregnant as a result of sexual abuse in jail.
The News Tribe, a UK-based bilingual news website has approached Pakistan Ambassador to US Sherry Rehman through an email to get her point of view on the issue but received no response till the filing of this news.
Here are some updates with clarification from Dr. Fauzia Siddiqui (Aafia’s sister).
Dr Fowzia Clarification about Aafia Pregnancy News.
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui Pregnancy News a Misunderstanding but Cancer Allegation a Cause For Concern issued by Dr.Fowzia Siiddiqui.
The Aafia Movement are issuing the following clarification in light of recent statements circulating in the Pakistani media that Dr Aafia Siddiqui has contracted is pregnant as a result of sexual abuse whilst in custody, and that she has cancer.
In early November 2011, Aafia’s family received disturbing reports that Dr Siddiqui had become pregnant whilst imprisoned in HMC Carswell and that she had undergone a forced abortion and was subsequently hemorrhaging profusely. Around the same time, former Pakistan ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani informed the family that the embassy had received a letter complaining of health problems and ill treatment at Carswell. The information suggested that Dr. Siddiqui’s health problems were the result of cancer. After informing Aafia’s family of her letter from Carswell, Ambassador Haqqani was recalled to Pakistan.
The Pakistani Consul General in Houston has since informed the family that Aafia is not pregnant. However, the embassy has not denied the cancer report.
A request has been made by the Pakistan Consul General Aqil Nadeem to the governor of FMC Carswell to provide medical facilities to DrAafia, but there is little guarantee that She will receive adequate treatment, given the prison’s well documented scandalous abuse and medical neglect of its inmates. Over a hundred inmates have reportedly died under ‘questionable circumstances’ at the facility, there have been numerous cases of sexual abuse and rape perpetrated by prison staff – amongst them, the guards, chaplains and physicians. Multiple accusations of gross medical negligence towards cancer patients many of whom died after being denied treatment.
Our family has requested independent and impartial medical board to evaluate the condition as forced medical exam from prison staff would probably be worse torture as well as definite conflict of interest.
An advertisement I saw over the internet and then I followed up the news. I think either she got stuck in some agency radar or she might be another victim of crime against women.
News is given below:
Family offers $10,000 reward in search for missing JCCC student
Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/12/18/3327185/10000-reward-offered-for-missing.html#ixzz1gyBjqmVT
By TONY RIZZO
The Kansas City Star
A $10,000 reward is now being offered for information in the search for a Johnson County College student who was reported missing Friday.
Dozens of volunteers worked throughout Sunday in the effort to find 19-year-old Aisha Khan. The search began at midday Friday when she was reported missing from the University of Kansas Edwards campus in Overland Park.
“We need everybody to be thinking about Aisha all of the time,” said her uncle Adil Sheikh, one of many out-of-town relatives who have traveled to the Kansas City area.
Late Friday morning Khan called and sent text messages to relatives saying that she had slapped an intoxicated stranger who was harassing her.
A short time later her sister who had gone to the campus at 127th Street and Quivira Road to give her a ride found her unattended book bag and cell phone.
Besides the volunteet effort, an Overland Park police spokesman said Sunday that about 30 officers were involved in the investigation.
About 15,000 flyers have been printed and volunteers have been passing them out and canvassing the neighborhoods surrounding the campus.
Khan was studying for finals at the Edwards location, but she is actually a student at Johnson County Community College.
Besides the efforts on the ground, Khan’s uncle said they are utilizing Facebook and Twitter to disseminate information. The Facebook page “Help Find Aisha Khan” had accumulated more than 5,500 “likes” as of Sunday evening.
The family is offering the reward for information leading to her whereabouts, he said.
“We are appealing for leads and cooperation from the community,” Sheikh said.
Khan is 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds. She has brown eyes and dark brown hair. She was last seen wearing a yellow and black shirt, black sweat pants and a black head scarf. She may have also been wearing glasses. She was wearing a black jacket beneath a longer black and white coat.
Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (874-474-8477).
To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to email@example.com.
Missing persons killed by al Qaeda: SC told
Additional Attorney General for Pakistan Karim Khan Agha told a three-member bench headed by Justice Javed Iqbal the data gathered from laptops in possession of Masood Janjua and Faisal Faraz showed their links with al Qaeda. – File Photo
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court was informed on Wednesday that missing persons — Masood Janjua and Faisal Faraz– had been killed by the terrorist outfit al Qaeda six years back.
Additional Attorney General for Pakistan Karim Khan Agha told a three-member bench headed by Justice Javed Iqbal that resumed hearing of missing persons cases that the data gathered from laptops in possession of Janjua and Faraz showed their links with al Qaeda.
He said Janjua and Faraz had been killed some six years back and it was highlighted by the media as well.
Amna Masood Janjua, wife of Masood Janjua and chairperson Defence of Human Rights, claimed that her husband and Faisal Faraz had been alive and were in the custody of sensitive agencies.
She demanded that their graves should be identified and DNA tests be carried out to determine their identity.
Justice Javed Iqbal directed her to provide evidences in his chamber.
The bench who took up issue of chronic missing persons cases expressed dissatisfaction over delayed action against Frontier Constabulary personnel who had been identified by six of the missing persons’ families, accusing them of taking away their loved ones.
Asma Jehangir, president Supreme Court Bar Association and counsel apprised the bench that despite recommendations of Commission on missing persons, so far no action was taken against the FC personnel.
The bench also directed the police to present a report on next date of hearing in the case of MNA Fazal Rab Pirzada who had gone missing few years back.
Further hearing was adjourned till next week.
Either this is a lie or ISI/CIA are new Al-Qaeda. Imagine what other crimes (Benazir Murder,Islamic University Blast,Peshawar Market Blast etc)they may have done in the name of Al-Qaeda,TTP etc , infact many of the gorups have doubtful origins and no one knows where in hell they have come from.
By Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: The case of newly discovered 11 missing persons, presently being heard by the Supreme Court, is yet another reminder of how callously intelligence agencies of the country operate without showing any respect to rule of law.
The saga of missing persons seems to be getting more and more complicated with every passing day as the governments, whether federal or provincial, political parties and parliament are simply incapable or indifferent to providing the needed support to the Supreme Court to keep intelligence agencies under check and to make them behave as per the law of the land.
Illyas Siddiqui, the attorney of these 11 persons, insists that the Lahore High Court had ordered the release of these 11 persons on July 21, and on July 28, the orders of the court were received by the Adiyala Jail’s superintendent but instead of releasing them, the jail authorities handed them over to intelligence agencies on July 29, from the main gate of the jail. He also referred to a video evidence to prove his point.
Siddiqui did not precisely name as to which intelligence agency had abducted these persons, all of whom were acquitted in terrorism cases, including rocket attack on the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, Kamra, anti-aircraft shots fired at a plane carrying former President Pervez Musharraf and suicide attacks on the bus of an intelligence agency in Rawalpindi and at the main entrance of the GHQ.
A deputy attorney general told the apex court that none of the three leading intelligence agencies — ISI, MI and IB — have in their custody any of these missing persons. The Punjab government authorities also don’t admit that the acquitted persons were handed over to any of the intelligence agencies but say that all the persons were released as per the high court’s order.
The then Home Secretary, Nadeem Hasan Asif, said that after their acquittal by the court in terrorism cases, the Punjab government, on the recommendation of CID, kept them under detention, initially under Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) and later by invoking the Anti-Terrorism Act.
But when the LHC set aside these detention orders, Nadeem told The News, the jail authorities were asked to release all the acquitted persons. When asked, Nadeem said that none of the intelligence agencies, including ISI, MI and IB, had approached him either to keep these persons under detention or hand them over to the spy agencies.
On the files of the provincial government, all these detainees were released from the Adiyala Jail. However, when they were to be released, quite a reasonable number of their relatives were waiting outside the Adiyala Jail to receive their acquitted relatives. The superintendent and the deputy superintendent of Adiyala Jail have already been arrested from the Supreme Court following the court’s order.
No matter what the government files read, some of the provincial government authorities do believe that these 11 persons would have been in the illegal custody of the intelligence agencies.
Six out of these 11 persons are those who were acquitted in a case of attack on the ISI bus near Hamza Camp on the morning of November 24, 2007, killing 17 persons and injuring 35 others. According to media reports, the Punjab Police had held the intelligence agencies responsible for their acquittal on grounds of non-cooperation and mishandling of the case.
The report said that these six people were first picked up by intelligence agencies and were latter handed over to the Punjab Police after almost nine months of detention with not a single evidence provided to police and the spy agencies even refused to share any information gathered from the illegal detainees. These reports were carried by the national press in June this year and neither the Punjab Police nor the ISPR or any intelligence agency had rebutted the news.