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A Snapshot on the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui

Posted by on Sep 14th, 2010 and filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

By El-Hajj Mauri Salakhan

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani national, came to the United States as an 18 year old and began her freshman year at the University of Houston (Texas). Aafia later matriculated to Boston’s MIT, and eventually acquired a PhD. at Brandeis University. She was known and respected for her academic excellence, charitable work, and her commitment to Islam.

After the tragedy of September 11th, Aafia Siddiqui and her former husband, Dr. Amjad Khan, came under suspicion and decided to leave the United States as a result of the corrosive Post 9/11 atmosphere (in many quarters) towards Islam and Muslims. Later, after an unfortunate separation and divorce, Aafia decided to return to the U.S. in order to pursue work in her academic and professional field.

At some point in 2003, then U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft publicly identified Dr. Aafia Siddiqui as a person the U.S. government believed to be an “Al-Qaeda facilitator.”

In March 2003, after departing her family’s home in Karachi (Pakistan) to visit an uncle in Islamabad, the taxi that she and her three young children were traveling in was stopped by persons believed to be Pakistani agents, and then they were made to disappear.

aafia_siddiquiAfter FIVE YEARS of secret imprisonment (aka rendition) and torture, Aafia Siddiqui was mysteriously released on the streets of Ghazni (Afghanistan), re-arrested, and in the moments leading up to her interrogation at the police compound, Aafia was shot and almost killed. After receiving emergency treatment, Aafia was brought to the United States and held under a brutal maximum security regime for almost two years before being placed on trial in a federal court in New York City.

Despite the U.S. government’s earlier description of Aafia Siddiqui as someone believed to be an agent of Al-Qaeda, NOT ONE TERRORISM CHARGE was leveled against her in the forthcoming criminal indictment. She was charged with attempting to kill U.S. personnel in Afghanistan in July 2008 (after she mysteriously re-appeared following five years of secret detention, aka “rendition”).

Despite blatant inconsistencies in the testimonies of the government’s star witnesses, and despite the material evidence that was solidly in the defendant’s favor, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui was found guilty on all counts, in what could aptly be described as a new type of “jury nullification.” If she receives the maximum penalty on the day of her sentencing, the sentence will be LIFE without the possibility of parole.

There have been massive demonstrations in all of Pakistan’s major cities demanding the return of this 38 year old mother, now dubbed the “daughter of Pakistan.”

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is scheduled to be sentenced, at a federal court in New York City, on Thursday, September 23, 2010.

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