Ramadan campaign launched for Dr Aafia Siddiqui

The Justice for Aafia Coalition have launched a Ramadan campaign for Dr Aafia Siddiqui and are calling on all supporters and human rights activists to join the week of action.

Justice for Aafia Coalition launched their Ramadan campaign this week and it will run through to Friday 19 July in the US.

The case of Aafia Siddiqui has been condemned by politicians, lawyers and human rights activists all over the world.

Background

In March 2003, Aafia Siddiqui and her three children were abducted by unknown authorities in Karachi, Pakistan.

She had been missing for more than a year when the FBI put her photographs on its website. The Pakistani government as well as US officials in Washington denied any knowledge of her custody.

By 2008, many believed that after five years of disappearance, Aafia Siddiqui and her three children were most likely dead. But in July 2008, British journalist and human-rights activist, Yvonne Ridley and former Guantanamo detainee, Moazzam Begg, publicly spoke about a “woman in Bagram” screaming, a woman whom they named the “Grey Lady of Bagram”.

A petition for habeas corpus was filed with the Pakistan High Court in Islamabad requesting that that the Pakistani government free Aafia Siddiqui or admit they were detaining her.

Within weeks, the US administration reported that Dr Siddiqui had been arrested by Afghani forces along with her 13 year-old son, outside the governor of Ghazni’s compound, allegedly with manuals on explosives and “dangerous substances in sealed jars” in her possession. Her lawyers claim that the evidence was planted on her.

Dr Siddiqui was subsequently flown to New York in September 2010. She claimed that, during her five year absence, she was kidnapped by the Pakistani intelligence services (ISI) with her children and transferred to US custody. She further alleges that she was detained in a series of secret prisons for five years during which time she was repeatedly abused, tortured and raped.

Dr Aafia SiddiquiCurrent status

In February, 2010, Dr Siddiqui was tried and convicted in a US Federal court on charges of attempted murder and assaulting US servicemen in Ghazni, Afghanistan. No US personnel were hurt but she was shot and suffered serious injuries. Dr Siddiqui categorically denies these charges.

There were no terrorism charges against her.

On  23 September 2010, Dr Siddiqui was sentenced to 86 years in prison. After her sentencing, she asked that Muslims not to take any revenge or get emotional.  She asked that those who have wronged her be forgiven as she forgave Judge Berman, who passed sentence against her.

Dr Siddiqui remains imprisoned at the Carswell Prison, Fort Worth, Texas where she is kept in the Special housing unit (SHU) which is the most severe confinement category.

During the last week of May 2013, Dr Siddiqui, was allegedly physically assaulted in her prison cell and left unconscious and bleeding. She eventually received medical care after a two day delay.

Aafia Siddiqui’s children

Dr Siddiqui’s eldest son, Ahmed, who is a US citizen by birth, was found in Ghazni, Afghanistan in late 2008 and was reunited with his maternal aunt in Karachi, Pakistan.

Her 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 English.

Dr Siddiqui’s youngest child, Suleman, who would now be seven years-old, remains missing; and is feared dead. Following her trial, Dr Siddiqui’s lawyer described how she was shown a picture of her baby, lying in a pool of blood.

Ramadan campaign

This is phase one of a broader campaign throughout the month of Ramadan. Details of the campaign, talking points, and a sample letter are below. If you would like to request Dr Siddiqui’s immediate repatriation to Pakistan please open the link below:

https://justiceforaafia.org/take-action/act-now/964-ramadan-campaign-for-dr-aafia-siddiqui-week-of-action

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