April 09, 2013
DALLAS: American former Attorney General from 60's Mr. Ramsey Clark has said that he concluded after going through all the facts in Dr Aafia Siddiqui's trial that she is innocent and America unjustly kept her in prison.
He was addressing a rally in front of DFW Federal court in downtown Fort Worth Texas. The rally was organized by organization "Peace through Justice" for justice for Aafia Siddiqui.
Clark said it seems after wrongfully convicting Aafia Siddiqui, America is trapped in its own credibility and honor, that is why the country is not serious in releasing her.
He said that he had reviewed a large number of cases in his professional life as attorney, but he never saw such a bizarre case like Aafia Siddiqui's case.
The former attorney general further said among all the political prisoners in the world Aafia Siddiqui's case is second most popular case in the world.
He said the US administration could never answer a question as what are the evidences of Aafia Siddiqui possible connection with Al-Qaeda.
The rally organizer and Peace through Justice Leader Mr. Mauri Saalakhan of the Washington, D.C, while addressing the event said that Dr. Aafia was arrested during President Bush tenure but she is still kept behind bars in Obama's administration.
He said that he would continue the struggle until Aafia got justice.
A similar event was held in March by this organization along with other groups on the tenth anniversary of incarceration of Aafia Siddiqui in front of carswell Federal prison in Fort Worth Texas where Afia Siddiqui is jailed.
This exclusive interview was first published on Muslim Matters website as part of the 10th Anniversary of the kidnapping and rendition of Dr. Aafia and her three minor children, the youngest of whom was 6 months old and has not been seen since 2003.
(Please click on the image to hear the interview)
First Published March 21, 2013, MuslimMatters.org
By Andrew Purcell
I haven't really been keeping a diary. It just seemed to be a format that worked well. It is not strictly chronological, but it tells the story. Everything I write here is something I saw, both through interacting with Aafia and her family and sitting through her trial in New York City.
I was at my computer reading the news headlines of the day, and an odd item caught my eye. The headline read "FBI Searching for Female al-Qaeda Leader". Al-Qaeda is incapable of having a woman in a position of leadership. It is just not the role in life that women are destined for. Did the FBI miss that memo? I'm always up for a good laugh, especially at the expense of those who assure us that they know best.
So I clicked on the link and my life changed.
The article explained that the FBI was looking for a woman named Aafia Siddiqui. I know a woman named Aafia Siddiqui, and I know her brother, and I know her sister, and I know their mother. They have been close friends of mine forever. Her brother once mentioned that she had a rare combination of names. That there just weren't that many women named Aafia Siddiqui. This must be a different one.
The article continued that she was married, had three small children, she had lived for many years in Boston, that she had degrees from MIT and Brandeis... This stopped being funny very quickly. I e-mailed her brother. What's going on?
"Aafia was picked up over the weekend. Pak government said she was handed over to FBI. The FBI denies having her. Pak government then denied she had been arrested. In that part of the world this is very bad."
Later in the day I spoke to him and learned that her three children, Ahmad, six years old, Maryam, four years old, and Suliman, six months old, had also been taken.
A day that began with "Gee, this is funny" went downhill very quickly... (click on link for full article)
Full Article here
Political Prisoners in the U.S.
As the U.S. military goes around the world "bringing democracy" to countries that will not follow the dictates of the U.S. government, they have been conducting a war against the people of the U.S. too. This war has manifested itself in attacks on our the civil liberties. These attacks have resulted in many political prisoners in the U.S. Although there have been political prisoners in the U.S. for many years such as Mumia Abu-Jamal (http://www.freemumia.com/) and Leonard Peltier (http://www.whoisleonardpeltier.info/), the more recent attacks have included the preemptive prosecutions of Muslims who have been set up through phony plots initiated by the FBI and other U.S. government agencies (see: http://projectsalam.org/ and http://www.civilfreedoms.org/) . Through kangaroo court type trials that have included secret evidence and fear tactics, these Muslims cases have resulted in long prison sentences, many in special Muslim prisons called Communication Management Units (CMUs).
Aafia Siddiqui is also at Carswell prison and has been kept in solitary confinement.
Aafia Siddiqui is a young Pakistani woman who was educated in the U.S. She did undergraduate work at MIT and got her doctorate from Brandeis. She eventually returned to Karachi, Pakistan where her family lives. She had 3 children, 2 born in the U.S., making them U.S. citizens. In 2003, Aafia took her three children, ages 6 months to 6 years, on a trip to Islamabad and disappeared. The U.S. and Pakistani government both denied having her in custody. Five years passed and her family feared she and her children were dead when they got word from a British reporter that she was alive and at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, which is a prison and torture center used by the U.S. NBC news also confirmed that Aafia was at Bagram and the U.S. government finally admitted they had her in custody.
Aafia was said to be the only female prisoner in Bagram. In 2005, male prisoners went on a hunger strike at Bagram to protest the treatment of Aafia. They were said to have heard her "haunting sobs and piercing screams." She was known at Bagram as "Prisoner 650."
Once the U.S. admitted to having Aafia, she was taken to the U.S. and tried for assaulting a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan while she was in custody. The U.S. claimed that while being interrogated, 4'11" Aafia reached out from behind a curtain, grabbed a rifle and tried to shoot one of her interrogators. No soldier was shot during this alleged incident, but Aafia was shot twice. She was convicted of assault on a U.S. soldier and is now serving 86 year in solitary confinement at the notorious Carswell prison in Texas; the same prison as Lynne Stewart. Aafia was not charged with any terrorism charges.
Aafia's family has had almost no contact with her and has been denied the right to visit. Her son Ahmed, a U.S. citizen who was 6 when kidnapped with Aafia, was found in 2008 in, Afghanistan. He was then reunited with Aafia's sister, who heads her defense campaign in Pakistan. Aafia's daughter, Maryum, also a U.S. citizen who was 4 at the time of her kidnapping, was mysteriously dropped off in April, 2010 near her aunt's house in Karachi after being missing for 7 years. When dropped off, the only language she knew was English, which she spoke with a perfect American accent. A Pakistani Senator and chairman of the Pakistani Senate's Standing Committee on the Interior, Senator Talha Mehmood, slammed the U.S. for "Keeping the Child in a military jail in a cold, dark room for seven years." Aafia's youngest child, a boy, remains missing and is feared dead.
Though this case has had little attention in the U.S., all of Pakistan is aware of Aafia siddiqui. Recently, when UNAC leaders were in Karachi to show support for Aafia, they saw wall writing and posters throughout the city demanding her release. One demonstration in Pakistan for Aafia was attended by over 1 million people.
What you can do to help.
Aafia's family and defense committee are demanding her immediate repatriation to Pakistan. There is a petition that you can sign in support of this demand. To sign the petition, please go here: http://www.iacenter.org/SiddiquiPetition/.
You can contact the U.S. State Department about Aafia's case by going here:
Please see the official Aafia Siddiqui web site here: http://freeaafia.com/.
On March 8, International Women's Day, there will be a support rally for Aafia at the Embassy of Pakistan, 3517 International Court, Washington, DC 20008, from 3 - 5 PM. On Friday, March 29, there will be a protest in support of Aafia at the US District Court, 501 W. 10th St., Fort Worth, Texas, from 3 - 5 PM and on March 30, there will be a protest at the FMC Carswell prison, in Fort Worth, Texas at noon. If you would like more information on any of these actions, please send an email to
"Dr. Aafia Siddiqui could be back in Pakistan in 2 days," US Senator Gravel
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
Jan 30, 2013
The second part of the teach-in was focused on Dr. Aafia Siddiqui's plight,
The former US Senator Mike Gravel suggested that the American Muslim civil advocacy groups should approach the nominated Defense Secretary Chuck Hegel and Secretary of State John Kerry to secure release of Dr. Aafia who is serving 86-year imprisonment for her alleged attempt to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan.
Senator Gravel said that the American Muslim groups should begin a intensive efforts for Dr. Aafia's release. He suggested that to put pressure on the US administration the Muslim groups should pass resolutions in this regard to be sent to Hegel and Kerry. He will draft a sample resolution to be sent to the Muslim groups for their approval.
The former Senator lamented that not enough pressure is built in Pakistan to compel the government to secure Dr. Aafia's release. He said that it was the government of Pakistan which is reluctant to approach the US administration.
He said that the Tehrik-e-Insaaf leader Imran Khan has pledged to work for Dr. Aafia's release if his party comes to power in the forthcoming elections. However, he did not make Dr. Aafia an issue in his election campaign.
Senator Gravel suggested that the former Foreign Minister of Pakistan Khurshid Kasuri should also be approached since he acknowledged that he is responsible for handing over Dr. Aafia to the US. "I'm so sorry for handing over the innocent Dr. Aafia Siddiqui to the Americans. It was my biggest mistake ever! " Khurshid Kasuri said in a twitter message in January 2012.
While visiting Pakistan last year, Mark Gravel said that he have never saw such a case in his career like Dr. Aafia Siddiqui who is innocent Pakistan citizen facing physical and mental torture from last 10 years in America.
Both the Government of Pakistan and United States were responsible of Dr. Aafia case, he said adding that if the Pakistani Government takes serious and practical steps, Dr. Aafia can be "back in 2 days".
Talking to media before leaving Pakistan for the US, Senator Gravel urged the Pakistani leadership to take action for the release of Dr Aafia. He stressed that Dr Aafia was a Pakistani citizen and that the US government's rendition of Dr Aafia from Afghanistan to the US is illegal under international law.
"Dr Siddiqui is not a US citizen, so the US government should not be left to determine her fate, she should be returned to Pakistan so that she can begin to recover from the horrible torture and abuse that she has suffered," said Senator Gravel.
Another participant of the PADF meeting was the former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney who also visited Pakistan last year. Tellingly she was detained briefly at Atlanta airport while entering the United States on her return from the visit to Pakistan where she campaigned for the release of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.
Addressing a Press Conference in the Islamabad, Cynthia McKinney said "I am here for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. When I first learned of her situation I decided to do all that I could do to reverse the injustice to this poor innocent woman. The United States has more to give Pakistan than drones, bombs and missiles. The United States can give Aafia back. The Pakistan Leadership just has to ask."
Pakistan American Democratic Forum, PADF, was the main initiator of American human right activists' visit to Pakistan.
The image below can be downloaded as a card to be sent to government officials in the US and elsewhere.
To download card, link here or click on image
Free Aafia Week Began in Karachi with special US guests Hon. Cynthia McKinney, former 6-time US Congresswoman and Ms. sara Fliuders of the International Action Center and renowned activist.
Daughters tortured and leaders bowing down to injustice is not the Bhutto legacy - Dr. Fowzia
Aafia lives in the hearts of the people we are committed to her release - Sara Flounders
We have come to Pakistan to urge the Pakistani Leadership to repatriate Aafia - Cynthia McKinney
Sample Press Coverage
FreeAafia Week turned out to be a very successful awareness tour for Dr. Aafia. The programs received wide and popular media coverage. A few links are provided below:
Express News link 1 link 2
DAWN Attock link 3 link 4
DAWN Peshawar link 5
GEO TV Capital Talk link 6 link 7
Nawa-e-Waqt link 8
Saach TV link 9
SANA News link 10
JANG link 11
NATION link 12
MASHRIQ link 13 link 14
Dec 9, 2012
Hyderabad Press Club
Dec 7, 2012
Major event at the University of Punjab in Lahore
PADF Seminar on Role of the Third World Media in Getting Human Rights Restored in the US
Dr. Fauzia, sister of Dr. Aafia is chief guest at Seminar with prominent panelists including Hon. Cynthia McKinney, Sara Founders, Esq., Mr. Orya Maqbool Jan, Mr. Haroon-ur-Rashid and Dr. Ahsan Akhtar Naz.
FreeAafia Week Marches On Successfully to KPK (KhyberPakhtoon Khwa) with events in Peshawar and nearby areas.
Dec 5-6, 2012
Foreign Guests Given the Common Man Honor of Riding in a Mule Cart!
It may seem odd, but the ability of a foreigner, especially Americans to take an impromptou ride on a common mule cart is a remarkable event in the current political situation in Pakistan's KPK region. Generally, most foreigners are reluctant to venture onto opublic roads even in armored vehicles with security escorts but the depth of support for Aafia in this region prompted ordinary citizens to request that visiting guests who are supporting Dr. Aafia join the public in one of the most common forms of transport with no fear of harm. This was a rare gesture which demonstrated the emotional bond between Aafia and the common masses in Pakistan.
Photo Gallery - Dec 04, 2012
Former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and IAC Director Sara Flounders Meet with Sindh High Court Bar
Delegation Meets former Chief Justice of Pakistan Supreme Court, Saeed U Zaman Siddiqui
Sara Flounders, Cynthia McKinney and Dr. Fauzia on "Capital Talk", one of Pakistan's top rated TV Talk shows in Islamabad.
Only Pakistan Govt Can Help Repatriate Dr Aafia
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
There is no way Dr Aafia Siddiqui can be legally repatriated to Pakistan once she has been "kidnapped" and whisked away to the US by the American CIA and military authorities.
These views were expressed by Sarah Flounders, president of the International Action Centre at New York and international human rights activist, while addressing the media at the Karachi Press Club on Monday afternoon.
"The only hope is untiring efforts by the Government of Pakistan to work for an exchange of prisoners. For that a major duty now rests on the shoulders of the Pakistan government."
Flounders said many suggestions had been made in this regard, which included: i) adoption of a multilateral international prisoners' transfer treaty; ii) a bilateral agreement for the exchange of prisoners; and iii) direct parleys on an issue between the two governments concerned.
As for exchange of prisoners, she said that this was common between the US and the erstwhile USSR during the Cold War era.
Quoting from the brief prepared by Dr Siddiqui's attorney, Tina Foster, Flounders said that it was mystifying that the Pakistan government never availed of any of these opportunities to act.
Delving deeper into the tragic episode, Flounders said that Dr Siddiqui was kept in strict isolation, was constantly being subjected to strip searches, and visitors to the courtroom were subjected to the most punitive of security measures like photo IDs, home addresses and telephone numbers. The role of the press in the US, she said, was "just to grab the headlines"...
She said that this was opportune moment for Pakistan to take up the issue in right earnest but then again wondered why the Pakistan government was going about the whole matter in such a lackadaisical manner.
Another American human rights activist and six-time elected Democratic Congresswoman, Cynthia McKenny, said: "How could the US, a country priding itself on democracy and human rights violate international law so brazenly in the case of Dr Aafia Siddiqui?"...
McKenny said she received an email from an Afro–American who witnessed the travesty in the courtroom during Dr Siddiqui's trial and said, "Where are the Muslim men in America?" She said it was this email that had induced her to come to Pakistan.
Now, however, she said, the ball was in the court of the Pakistan government because after Obama's re-election a change of attitudes appeared on the horizon with US-Pakistan ties undergoing an apparent thaw. As such, she said that Pakistan must grab the opportunity.
Dr Fauzia Siddiqui, Aafia's sister, also lamented the indifferent attitude of the government of Pakistan in pursuing a case where one of its own citizens was involved which made the government morally bound to work hammer and tongs for Aafia's release. She felt that the political will was just not there. Otherwise, she said, there was a multilateral treaty on offenders to which the US was a signatory.
Then, she said there was the internationally accepted exchange of prisoners and while releasing Raymond Davis, Pakistan could have insisted on the release of Dr Aafia in return. However, she regretted, Pakistan just let that opportunity slip most apathetically by and wondered why.
First Impressions - Blog by Sara Flounders
Cynthia McKinney and I arrived in Karachi at 4am this morning, Sunday, Dec 2.
We arrived having no idea what to expect or even what difficulties we would have on arrival finding or meeting up with our hosts or what government problems, etc.
To our total surprise there at the airport terminal were literally hundreds of people with flowers, chanting "Welcome" and "Free Aafia" and holding signs and banners for Aafia Siddiqui along with lots of media. We were stunned! This was organized by Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui, Aafia's sister and the Aafia Movement. Aafia's oldest son, now a grown young man, who was kidnapped with Aafia Siddiqui was also there. This was at 4am!!
We got a few hours sleep, we've been traveling since Fri evening and we are severely jet lagged. Later today quite a rally is planned, a meeting with various political VIPs and then a visit with Aafia's mother at her home.
Karachi is twice the size of New York City. This is Aafia's home town. Here the demand for her release from the torture and years of solitary confinement of US Federal prison and her repatriation to Pakistan has overwhelming support. Aafia is a heart-felt symbol of all the missing and disappeared, the victims of US secret rendition programs and targeted drone assassinations. The effort is now focused on getting every part of the political movement and all different political officials to publicly pledge that no one held by Pakistan can be released to the US until Aafia is returned.
We were told that much of the intense schedule this week will be streamed and reported on at www.FreeAafia.org and www.AafiaMovement.com
Please continue to circulate the IAC petition calling for the return of Aafia at: IACenter.org/SiddiquiPetition
This petition has sent more than 250,000 messages to US and Pakistani officials and to the media for Aafia's Repatriation. This simple act of solidarity from activists in the US has made an impact here.
More tomorrow or follow ...
Photo Gallery - Dec 2, 2012
Welcome at Karachi Airport
Cynthia McKinney and Sara Flounders Addressing Crowds in Karachi
Solidarity with Repatriation Efforts for Dr. Aafia
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