Monday, September 6, 2010

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui: Alerts


Whether or not you are a reporter or a human rights advocate or new to this case:
Will you act for justice? Time is short before the day currently given for

Suspicions of MORE intimidation ongoing...

Dinner with the family of Aafia Siddiqui
Posted: Sun, 05 Sep 2010 on the official family site:

By Asim Qureshi

I’m in Karachi and as is my custom, I ring Fowzia Siddiqui (the sister of Aafia Siddiqui) in order to meet and catch up with the latest on the case. As always I am greeted well and invited to the home to break fast with them in the evening. I graciously accept and at the appointed time make my way to Gulshan-e-Iqbal where the family live.

Two guards with machine guns are waiting outside the house as I approach in my car, they are camped next to a 10 foot banner spanning the wall of the house requesting that the US release Dr Aafia Siddiqui. The whole scene is a reminder of the efforts that the family have gone to in order that they can secure her release, but at the same time a reminder of the danger that the family face from authorities who are keen to cover their complicity in the detention and abuse of Aafia.

I am told later that that very day a car pulled up outside the back wall of the house and two men were summarily executed as those within the house heard shots. It is Fowzia’s daughter who witnessed the dead bodies of two men who have been shot in the face while she was playing with her birds – another reminder to the family of the dangerous times and place they live in. Human life has very little value in Pakistan, and the family have to cope with the knowledge that no human in the country is beyond having a price put on their heads, particularly if they become a problem for their enemies.

End Mr. Qureshi's Piece

Besides this alarming report, there are more startling items on the family official site such as these two captioned by the following headings:

* Visa Denied to International Delegation

* Aafia's son's torture letter (with Video) Afia’s conviction deferred on Pak govt’s advice Aafia

On AAFIA's Children:

According to this official site, Dr. Aafia’s oldest son, Ahmed, who is a U.S. citizen by birth, was found in Ghazni, Afghanistan after thinking he was an orphan and, in late 2008, was reunited with Dr. Aafia’s sister in Karachi, Pakistan.* Dr. Aafia’s daughter, Maryum, also a US citizen by birth, was mysteriously “dropped off” in April 2010 near her aunt’s house in Karachi after being missing for 7 years. She was traumatized and spoke only American accented English.* Dr. Aafia’s youngest child, Suleman, a boy who would now be about seven years old, remains missing; and is feared dead.

What do Dr. Aafia’s detractors want?:

* We are asked to believe that Dr. Aafia, a respectable Pakistani woman in all ways, is now the first and only female terrorist from Pakistan; was voluntarily hiding under cover with three children acting as a terror field operative while at the same time leaving her family to believe for five years that she and her three children were dead.

* We are asked to believe that Dr. Aafia arranged this just after her father died, after finding out her marriage was disintegrating, and after leaving her widowed mother alone in Pakistan. It is absolutely not plausible and does not even fit the traditional profile by law enforcement of female or male terrorists from that part of the world.

Current Situation (just a few points of many)

* In February, 2010, Dr. Aafia was tried and convicted in a US Federal court on charges of attempted murder and assaulting US servicemen in Ghazni, Afghanistan. The official charges against Dr. Aafia were that she assaulted U.S. soldiers in Ghazni, Afghanistan, with one of the servicemen’s own rifles, while she was in their custody, waiting to be interrogated by them. No US personnel were hurt but Dr. Aafia was shot and suffered serious injuries including brain damage. Dr Aafia categorically denies these charges.

* There were NO terrorism charges against Dr. Aafia...

See these points and topics in more detail here

I will be posting more items and "snippets" related to Dr. Aafia's dilemma - both older and newer - during the coming weeks.

And most importantly, keep checking for ongoing reports and concerns at here

Would you who care about justice to our fellow sufferers, do your best to disseminate, write Letters to your favorite Editor or even ask to do a Guest Editorial of your local news source? Will you consider CALLING to encourage just one reporter you trust to be present at the soon-coming Sentencing Hearing under Judge Berman? Will you look as deeply as possible into the many questionable aspects of US involvement in Dr. Aafia's life and family during this current and upcoming season of prayer, reflection, community and compassion?

We must of course face ourselves sooner or later to ask what sort of legacy we are leaving our children...

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