Case filed to overturn Dr. Aafia conviction with evidence of her 2003 abduction

Source: http://freeaafia.org/

Contact: Tina M. Foster, (917) 442-9580, tmf@tinafoster.com
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:
http://www.ijnetwork.org/report/IJNetworkTape.WAV.

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.”

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Injustice In The Age of Obama –> Cindy Sheehan, published in Aljazeera

An interesting article of how lies are made and presented as truth. Our so called liberals should read this who out of their sectarian and social-class prejudice can’t think freely and justly.

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Excerpts from an article by Cindy Sheehan

published on AlJazeera English.

Source : http://freeaafia.org/

The treatment of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is symbolic in the minds of many Muslims. Her treatment has caused more damage to US-Muslim relations (particularly in Pakistan) than any ‘soft power’ state department program could undo

Since being the defendant in about six trials after I was arrested for protesting the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations, it’s my experience that the police lie. Period.

However the lies don’t stop at street law enforcement level. From lies about WMD and connections to “al Qaeda,” almost every institution of so-called authority – the Pentagon, State Department, CIA, FBI, all the way up to the Oval Office and back down – lie. Not white lies, but big, Mother of all BS (MOAB) lies that lead to the destruction of innocent lives. I.F Stone was most definitely on the ball when he proclaimed, “Governments lie”.

Having clarified that, I would now like to examine a case that should be enshrined in the travesty of the US Justice Hall of Shame.

In February of this year, Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani mother of three, was convicted in US Federal (kangaroo) Court of seven counts, including two counts of “attempted murder of an American.” On September 23, Judge Berman, who displayed an open bias against Dr. Siddiqui, sentenced her to 86 years in prison.

The tapestry of lies about Dr. Siddiqui – a cognitive neuroscientist, schooled at MIT and Brandeis – was woven during the Bush regime but fully maintained during her trial and sentencing this year by the Obama (in)Justice Department…
 

Tortured ‘truth’

There is some disputed “intelligence” that Aafia had married KSM’s nephew, a tenuous allegation at best, and even so, guilt by association has no place in the hallowed US legal system.

Following KSM’s torture-induced ‘insights’, Dr. Siddiqui was listed by Bush’s Justice Department as one of the seven most dangerous al-Qaeda operatives in the world. A mother of three equipped with a lethal ability to ‘thin-slice’ your cognitive personality in seconds. If alleged association and a healthy interest in neuro-psychology are the definitive hallmarks of a ‘terrorist operative,’ then Malcolm Gladwell better start making some phone calls to Crane, Poole and Schmidt.
 

A culture of falsehoods

In any case, in a bizarre scenario – to make a very long story short – Dr. Siddiqui and her three children disappeared for five years from 2003 to 2008, resurfacing in Ghazni, Afghanistan with her oldest child, a son who was then 11. She claimed that for the years she was missing, she was being held in various Pakistani and US prisons being tortured and repeatedly raped. Many prisoners, including Yvonne Ridley, maintain she was incarcerated in Bagram AFB and tortured for at least part of the five missing years.

After Dr. Siddiqui resurfaced, she was arrested and taken to an Afghan police station where four Americans – two military and two FBI agents – rushed to “question” her through interpreters. The FBI and military, claim that they were taken to a room that had a curtain at one end and that they did not know that Dr. Siddiqui was lying asleep on a bed at the other side of the curtain. As you read below it will become blatantly obvious that personnel involved from both institutions totally fabricated their stories.

This is the Americans’ version: They entered the room and one of the military dudes said he laid his weapon down (remember, they were there to interrogate one of the top most dangerous people in the world), and Siddiqui got up, grabbed the weapon, yelling obscenities and that she wanted to “kill Americans.” All 5’3″ of her raised the weapon to fire and she fired the rifle twice, missing everyone in the small room – in fact she even missed the walls, floor and ceiling since no bullets from the rifle were ever recovered.

Then one of the Americans shot her twice in the stomach “in self-defence.” It was shown at the trial that her fingerprints were not even on the weapon. The only bullets that were found that day were in Dr. Aafia’s body. How many stories of military cover-ups have we heard about since 9/11? I can think of two right away without even trying hard: Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch.

Hopeless injustice

Dr. Aafia’s side is this: After she was arrested, she was again beaten and she fell asleep on a bed when she heard talking in the room she was in so she got out of the bed and someone shouted: “Oh no, she’s loose!” Then she was shot – when she was wavering in and out of consciousness, she heard someone else say: “We could lose our jobs over this.”

Even with no evidence that she fired any weapon, she was convicted (the jury found no pre-meditation) by a jury and sentenced to the aforementioned 86 years.  It’s interesting that the Feds did not pursue “terrorist” charges against Dr. Siddiqui because they were aware that the only evidence that existed was tortured out of KSM – so they literally ganged up on her to press the assault and attempted murder charges.

Even if Dr. Siddiqui did shoot at the Americans, reflect on this. Say this case was being tried in Pakistan under similar circumstances for an American woman named Dr. Betty Brown who was captured and repeatedly tortured and raped by the ISI – here in the states that woman would be a hero if she shot at her captors – not demonized and taken away from her life and her children.

I believe Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is a political prisoner and now the political bogey-woman for two US regimes.

In Pakistan, the response to her verdict and sentencing brought the predictable mass protests … and calls for Pakistan to repatriate Dr. Siddiqui. They know who the real criminals are and who should be in prison for life! At present, Hilary’s state department harps on about ‘soft power’ and diplomacy, but what better way to quell US distrust in the Muslim world than to try such cases with due diligence and integrity.

In the US, not many people know about this case. Obviously many people were Hope-notized by the millions of dollars poured into the Obama PR machine – and believed when he said that his administration would be more transparent and lawful than the outlaws of the Bush era.

I guess they were mistaken.

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Specialist Casey A. Sheehan, who was killed in Iraq on April 4, 2004. Since then, she has been an activist for peace and human rights.

Full article here

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Read also :

https://united4justice.wordpress.com/2008/08/16/peddle-a-citizen-inc-by-babar-sattar-in-the-news/

https://united4justice.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/dr-aafia-siddiqui%e2%80%99s-disappearance-letters-published-in-dawn-in-2004/

Imran asks three questions from USA and Pakistan about Dr. Aafia

Source : http://insaf.pk/News/tabid/60/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/3474/Imran-asks-three-questions-from-USA-and-Pakistan-about-Dr-Aafia.aspx

By Hammad Cheema

Imran Khan, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), has expressed his disgust and anger over the way the whole Dr Aafia Siddiqui case has ended in what is clearly a travesty of justice. He has demanded three things from the State of Pakistan and the USA:

First: the Pakistani people have a right to know how Dr Aafia Siddiqui, with three minor children, landed up in Bagram Base. He demanded that the Pakistan government needs to answer this clearly as does the US. Did the Pakistani authorities covertly hand over Dr Siddiqui with her young children to the Americans? Or did the Americans kidnap her in Pakistan and successfully take her out into Afghanistan? What has been the fate of her children, since two of them are still missing?

How could a frail woman manage to attack US soldiers who surrounded her? Did she suddenly acquire superwoman or bionic abilities?

Second: Why has the Pakistan government not taken proper action to ensure her return to Pakistan? Are they not aware of the fact that apart from the injustice and abuse of a Pakistani woman, the injustice meted out to Dr Aafia is going to add to the difficulties of the Pakistani military’s fight in the tribal belt as well as increasing anti-Americanism and extremism? For Pakistan this will create more space for militancy.

Just as the Lal Masjid episode was a watershed for a qualitative change in the rising tide of militancy and extremism, so the Dr Aafia sentencing will become another watershed in this direction of creating more space for extremism and militancy.

Three: Who aided and abetted the Americans in Pakistan? The Pakistan government must not only expose those who aided and abetted the kidnapping of Dr Aafia, but must also mete out exemplary punishment to them. In 2003 when Imran Khan contacted Dr Aafia’s mother in order to give a statement in Aafia’s support, her mother was terrified and told Imran that she had been warned that if any such statements were made, Dr Aafia would be killed.

It is a national shame that the state of Pakistan, instead of protecting its citizens, has been aiding and abetting in their disappearances, their torture and their abuse. It is time to put an end to all this lest the nation take things into their own hands.

Aafia turns out to be a credible witness–>DAWN

Source : http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/12-aafia-turns-out-to-be-a-credible-witness-010–bi-10

By Masood Haider

NEW YORK: Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui took the stand on Thursday afternoon to testify in a court where she is facing the charge of trying to kill American servicemen while in custody at Ghazni (Afghanistan).

While denying the attempted murder charge, Dr Aafia told the court that she was concerned she was going to be transferred to a ‘secret’ prison by the Americans and was trying to slip out of the room when she was shot.

“I’m telling you what I know,” she said in response to a question by Assistant US Attorney Jenna M. Dabbs.

“I walked towards the curtain. I was shot and I was shot again. I fainted.” Much to the surprise of her defence team, Dr Aafia turned to be a ‘credible witness’.

She was allowed to take the stand after Judge Richard Berman issued her caveats making her aware of the pitfalls and the dangers of such a move. Her defence team was literally scared that she could turn out to be her own worst enemy given her past record of outbursts.

She had been thrown out of the court several times after being admonished by the judge not to speak out of turn.

But on Thursday she surprised them all and remained calm and composed.Dr Aafia again denied picking up an M4 rifle and taking a shot at American soldiers and instead maintained that she was scared and wanted to run away as she heard conversations from behind the curtain during her incarceration at Ghazni.

She said as she peeked out of the curtain she was shot and injured. She also accused the FBI agents who questioned her time and again of threatening to hurt her children in order to scare her.

At one point she became so chatty that she was asked by the judge to just answer the question instead of elaborating them.

She also denied prosectuion’s claim that she was trained in rifle shooting, saying: “I took physical training but not to shoot a rifle.”

She said she was shot two or three times by one person in the room and then shot by someone else. She also said she did not believe any US soldier in the room would be irresponsible enough to leave his weapon lying around.

A group of FBI agents and US soldiers had travelled to Ghazni to interview Dr Aafia after she was allegedly found with materials that included hand-written notes referring to a “mass casualty attack” in the US and listed several landmark locations, including the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge, prosecutors have said.

Vigil held for release of Dr Aafia & others–>The Nation

The way things are going in USA courts, it seems Aafia is not going to get a fair trial. The real issue of her relationship with Al-Qaeda will not be addressed because FBI doesn’t have any evidence and the charges put on her are real baseless. Anyone with even minor sense of justice can see the shallowness of the fabricated evidence.

She is charged of snatching a weapon and trying to shoot American soldiers .The real great thing is that in the process she herself got shot.

This is all bullshit and ridiculous. Is American army an army of eunuchs? A weak woman snatches a gun and tries to shoot them?

There is still no clue about the 2 missing children of Aafia.

It’s also interesting that even after so many years (She was abducted in 2003 from Pakistan by USA and Pakistani agencies which was also reported at that time in local and international media) FBI has come up with such a lame case and even in that they didn’t have enough evidence to connect her with Al-Qaida or terrorist activities so this question was put aside by the court.

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Vigil held for release of Dr Aafia & others

The Nation

Source : http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Islamabad/20-Jan-2010/Vigil-held-for-release-of-Dr-Aafia–others

ISLAMABAD – A number of citizens Tuesday protested in front of the Parliament by lighting candles, protesting the illegal abduction and detainment of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and other missing persons in United States prisons.
Relatives of the missing persons, civil society activists along with students, teachers, doctors, journalists, professionals, and representatives of human rights organisations were present at the occasion. Dr. Atia Anayatullah (PML-QA), Senator Talha Mehmood and Syed Bilal President Jamaat-e- Islami were also present at the occasion.
Over 300 people lit candles to show solidarity against the abduction of Dr. Aafia. They wore red scarves and bands as a sign of emergency and raised slogans against her detention.
Protests and Candle-lit vigils were planned in various countries in support of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. The start of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui trial had been declared “Free Dr Aafia Siddiqui Day” across the U.S., UK, Pakistan, Australia, Spain, Qatar, Turkey, and the Middle East. In Pakistan, peaceful vigils were held in Karachi and Lahore press clubs and Islamabad along with other international venues at the same time.
Participants at the occasion vehemently condemned her detention and appealed for efforts to secure her immediate release. “Dr Aafia is a daughter of Pakistan and her return to Pakistan is a very vital issue”, they noted.
They said that the Government must take immediate steps for safe recovery of all the missing persons including Dr. Aafia. They said that after taking charge in January 2009, American President Barack Obama said that he would work for protecting human rights, and closure of Guantanamo prison was the proof of his statement.
In accordance with the said statement of the American President, they continued that American government must release Dr. Aafia immediately.
While talking to TheNation, Chairperson Defence of Human Rights in Pakistan (DHRP) Amina Janjua, who is the wife of one of the missing persons Masood Janjua, said that Dr. Aafia went missing in 2003.”She had spent many years in pain and miseries, and we are here to show solidity against her abduction and pain”, she added.