Dr. Aafia Siddiqui
Briefly, here are some of the basic circumstances of Dr. Aafia’s case:
This is what the family and many other supporters in the US and in Pakistan believe:
We ask people to look into this case themselves, and to do so with an open mind. There is a lot of information out there on the Internet, and in the media. Many of the stories demonize Aafia, while some raise her to sainthood. Aafia is neither demon nor saint. Aafia is simply an ordinary mother, daughter and sister trapped in an extraordinary nightmare.
2011- Pakistanis Plagued again by Floods and more...
In August, 2010 the people of Pakistan experienced the worst floods on record in the history of the nation. Now, again in 2011, the country has been ravaged by floods of a significant scale. Millions more are homeless and need need urgent support from their compatriots.
To make matters worse, this year the floods have coincided with a massive outbreak od Dengue fever across many parts of the country - adding further misery to an already catastrophic situation.
While international aid has been a trickle, local groups are taking an active role. In this spirit of self reliance, The Aafia Movement had launched and maintained Flood Relief efforts during the epic floods of 2010 and has boosted that effort this year.
This year when Aafia was finally allowed to speak with her family, a subject of grave concern to her was the condition of the flood victims and upon lerning of the magnitude of the issue, Aafia has asked that all those who support her should focus their efforts, prayers and practical actions towards making a real, positive change in the conditions of the flood and dengue victims and of all Pakistanis.
Below are some images of camps set up by the Aafia Movement to bring aid to those suffering.
Sept. 16, 2011
JI holds Aafia Day rallies across country
LAHORE – Jamaat-e-Islami observed Dr Aafia Siddiqui Day across the country on Friday.Rallis were held in the federal and the provincial capitals besides major cities denouncing the US court verdict of 86 years jail term for Dr Aafia Siddiqui on terrorism charges and demanding her immediate release.In the Punjab capital, women and children held a demonstration outside the Lahore Press Club to draw the world attention to the injustice done to Pakistan’s daughter by the US court and demanding her release. JI deputy Secretary General Dr Farid Ahmed Piracha, while addressing the gathering, said that Dr Aafia was a daughter of Islam but the military dictator Pervez Musharraf, in a show of utter shamelessness, handed her over to the US for dollars. He deplored that the present rulers too were devoid of any sense of shame and honour and had taken no solid steps for Dr Aafia’s release. However, he said, the Pakistani nation was fully awake and would continue its struggle for Dr Aafia’s release.In Islamabad, a seminar was held at Al-Flah Hall. Addressing the seminar, JI Secretary General Liaqat Baloch said that the JI would continue its struggle till Dr Aafia’s release. He said that the US, India and Israel were trying to destabilize Pakistan.In Multan, a rally was held from Chowk Ghanta Ghar to Husain Agahi. The JI Punjab chief, Dr Syed Waseem Akhtar, led the rally. Rallies were also held in Peshawar, Hyderabad, Sukkur, and Quetta.In Karachi, a big rally was held from Empress Road to Regal Chowk. The JI chief Syed Munawar Hasan, Dr Fauzia Siddiqui, and JI Karachi chief, Muhammad Husain Mehnati, led the rally.Addressing the rally, Syed Munawar Hasan said that the Pakistani rulers had sold out Dr Aafia Siddiqui to the US for dollars. He said according to reports, the US court kept waiting for a contact from Islamabad for Dr Aafia’s release but it was in vain.Syed Munawar Hasan said Dr Aafia had been jailed for 86 years only for pointing a gun on American soldiers, then why the Pakistani rulers and army had released Raymond Davis, the killer of three innocent citizens. He said the Pakistani nation could have secured Dr Aafia’s release long ago but for the shameless rulers who had shown total lack of courage and proved themselves total US slaves. He said that thousands of Pakistan’s daughters and sisters were however proud of Dr Aafia and were willing to emulate her example...
Sept. 13, 2011
A message from Aafia's family after Aafia is allowed to visit with her brother for the first time in almost 2-1/2 years:
Last April we were both honored and stunned when a hundred Americans gave up part of their Saturday to stand outside Carswell Prison for several hours in the hot Texas sun to support our family's effort to contact Aafia. The actions of those courageous people responding to a call by The Peace Thru Justice Foundation paid off almost immediately. Five days later Aafia was allowed to call her family and she got to hear her children's voices for the first time in eight years.
This demonstration also set off an unexpected chain of events. Within days the Pakistani Consulate responsible for the affairs of its citizens in Texas visited Carswell and began communication with prison officials.
On the weekend of September 10, 2011, Aafia's brother was finally allowed to visit her.
This was their first visit in almost two and a half years.
The last time they saw each other was at her sentencing hearing almost a year ago. Throughout the trial and sentencing proceedings they were not allowed to speak to each other and one of the court officers made a point of sitting directly between them so they couldn't see each other.
We believe this visit is the direct result of the willingness of American citizens to exercise their First Amendment right "of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Our family would also like to thank the International Justice Network for their advice and support.
Credit must also be given to Pakistan's Consulate in Houston for their assistance and contributions in this effort.
Requests have been made for future visits in October and November.
We are troubled because this visit required so much effort and persistence by so many. The system says that as long as Aafia obeys prison rules she is entitled to have visitors. We have not been told that Aafia has violated the rules. We have been told that "our normal rules don't seem to apply to your sister."
We are not asking for special conditions or priveleges for Aafia. We are asking that the rules that apply to all the other prisoners be applied to her too.
Thank you for your support and God bless all of you.
TV Interview with Family and Children of Dr. Aafia
Click on Image to see video
And justice American style
RAMADAN 1432 A.H.(August 7, 2011)
A comparative analysis of the criminal cases involving three young women, two Americans and one Pakistani. The cases of Amanda Knox, Casey Anthony, and Dr. Aafia Siddiqui reveal just how arbitrary and capricious "justice" can be in the U.S. legal system, and how conceptually flawed it can be in the collective mind of the American people (generally speaking).
These three cases also reveal, in very graphic detail, the role that race, class, gender, religion and politics often play in the pursuit of justice in the western hemisphere.
click on Image to see interview on PressTV
Amanda Knox was prosecuted and convicted in Italy (along with her Italian lover and an African immigrant) for the brutal murder of another young female foreign exchange student. Knox received a sentence of 26 years as a result. Now via the automatic appeals process in European law (a superior quality, in my view, to American law), and the recent decision by an appellate judge to allow an independent review of key forensic evidence that was used to convict her - because the evidence was reportedly contaminated by being mishandled by Italian investigators - Knox has a good chance of winning release in the near future.
(If I were a betting man, I would wage it all on my belief that Ms. Knox will be "legally" cleared and repatriated back to America sooner than later.)
Casey Anthony, a young woman from Florida, was charged in the death of her own child, Caylee Anthony. Despite the damning evidence against her, Anthony was recently found not guilty of the most serious charges in the murder indictment, and convicted only for giving false information to the law enforcement officers who investigated the case. Anthony has now been released to an undisclosed location, and reportedly stands to make a fortune when ever she decides to "tell her story."
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is a Pakistani national, and committed Muslim woman, who came to the United States at the age of 18 for university study. She excelled academically at the University of Houston, MIT, and Brandeis University. She also distinguished herself as a young leader of the Muslim student organization(s) to which she belonged, and engaged in praiseworthy charitable work in the greater Boston area. Aafia would later become a person of suspicion (post 9/11), return home to Pakistan, and eventually become a target of a rendition operation (along with her three young children - ages six, four, and six months) in March of 2003.
After five years of secret detention and torture, Aafia would mysteriously re-emerge in a weakened and disheveled state in Afghanistan; she would be shot and seriously injured while awaiting re-interrogation; and soon after be brought back to the United States, in 2008, to eventually stand trial (two years later) for allegedly "attempting to murder U.S. personnel" (FBI and soldiers) in Afghanistan in July 2008.
While Amanda Knox and Casey Anthony (young, white, non-Muslim females) became "tabloid darlings," whose trials played out in the public sphere like Reality TV dramas, the trial of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui was shrouded under a cloak of near anonymity within the United States - despite the presence of a significant number of reporters in the courtroom each day of the trial.
Both Knox and Anthony misled investigators (aka, repeatedly lied) during their interrogations, while Aafia was forthright from start to finish.
Both Knox and Anthony initially tried to shift responsibility for the crime that they were accused of committing on to an innocent person, and both had strong circumstantial evidence against them. In Siddiqui's case both the material and circumstancial evidence were strongly in her favor; it was the government's star witnesses that perjured themselves on the witness stand during the trial (although they were never charged with perjury)!
Casey Anthony received an extreme presumption of innocence from a jury that saw a young white female who was facing the death penalty, if convicted. (I predict that the presumption of innocence principle will strongly kick in, post conviction, based on the alleged contamination of evidence, in the appeals process for Amanda Knox.) And while Ms. Anthony had a fair and impartial jurist to preside over her case, Judge Belvin Perry, Aafia Siddiqui had just the opposite. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman was openly biased against Dr. Siddiqui from start to finish.
Anthony's jury was sequestered in a hotel, cutoff from the outside world; while Dr. Siddiqui's should have been! The jury in Aafia's case left the courthouse each day, and were continually exposed to the highly prejudicial, government-fed local media reports that contaminated the court of public opinion; reports that were so unfair and poisonous that they made any prospect for an impartial deliberation process almost impossible.
Anthony's attorneys were given a lot of latitude in their defense of their client; while Siddiqui's attorneys were hamstrung (and in the opinion of some observers, allowed themselves to be hamstrung) to such an extent, that the missing fives years of her secret detention were made off limits during the trial!
While Casey Anthony is a free woman (relatively speaking); and Amanda Knox - who has benefited from a growing defense lobby, and American press coverage that has been primarily positive - may soon be a free woman; Dr. Aafia Siddiqui (who is not accused of harming anyone!) received a sentence of 86 years on September 23, 2010, and is now being confined at a notorious institution (known as Carswell) on a military base in Fort Worth, Texas.
The well known peace activist, Cindy Sheehan, made a provocative observation regarding the outcome of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui case, not long after her sentencing:"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."
I couldn't agree more...and so goes the tale of three accused women.
El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan
(c) 2011, All Rights Reserved
(permission is given to share this commentary with others, without any changes, and with the appropriate attribution)
The Mysterious Case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui: Interview with Victoria Brittain
KBOO Radio, Portland, OR.
by Linda Olson-Ost... on Thu, 04/14/2011
(click on the picture to go to the Radio website and hear the interview)
Aik Din GEO Ke Saath
PART 1 PART 2 PART 3
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