- A full account of her case from March 2003 through December
2008 can be accessed through the following link:
- Numerous follow-up articles discussed subsequent events
to the present. All are posted chronologically on sjlendman.blogspot.com.
- Wrongfully persecuted, she was sentenced to 86 years
in prison on September 23, 2010, a gross miscarriage of justice since her
March 30, 2003 abduction, imprisonment, torture and witch-hunt prosecution,
providing no evidence whatever to convict.
- Supporters want her freed. The web site freeaafia.org
posts updates on her case and status. It has petitions to sign on her behalf
as well as actions to take, including writing her as follows:
- Aafia Siddiqui
- # 90279-054
- FMC Carswell
- Federal Medical Center
- PO Box 27137
- Fort Worth, TX 76127
- It also asks those able to contribute to her legal defense
and investigation into the disappearance of her son, Suleman, missing for
nearly eight years.
- Suburban Boston-based Elaine Whitfield Sharp represents
Aafia. So does the New York-based International Justice Network (IJN),
the only organization representing Bagram, Afghanistan detainees. It:
- "leads human rights initiatives around the world
by providing direct legal assistance and expertise to victims of human
rights abuses and by creating a global network of legal professionals,
(NGOs), and community-based human rights advocates in order to protect
and promote human rights and the rule of law."
- Its November 30 press release headlined, "Kidnapping
Attempt on Children of Aafia Siddiqui," saying:
- Armed gunmen broke into her family home in Karachi, Pakistan.
"The incident was apparently a failed attempt to kidnap Dr. Siddiqui's
two minor children - both of whom are US citizens, but now reside with
relatives in Pakistan."
- Since US authorities released her eldest son, Ahmed,
in August 2008, he's been living with his grandmother and aunt in Karachi.
Pakistani police provide round the clock protection, so it's unknown how
the men gained access. They also managed to avoid capture, suggesting perhaps
authorities aren't as protective as they claim.
- IJN's Executive Director Tina Foster said:
- "Those responsible for the March 2003 kidnapping
of Dr. Siddiqui and her two children have yet to be identified and held
to account. But there can be no doubt that the Pakistani government would
bear responsibility for any harm that comes to (her) family (because) not
only does the government have a general duty to protect the safety of its
citizens, but in this case it also has affirmatively undertaken the responsibility
for the Siddiqui family's safety and insisted on the security procedures
now in place at" their home.
- She also said "this kidnapping attempt is simply
the latest in a series of incidents which suggests that there are individuals
- who remain at large - (who) would stop at nothing to prevent the truth
about what happened to Dr. Siddiqui and her three children to be revealed."
It's not unlikely that Pakistan's government is involved, one of many services
performed for Washington.
- An October 25 IJN (ijnetwork.org) posting quoted the
ACLU saying a same day federal court ruling affirmed the Defense Department's
right to withhold key information about hundreds of Bargram detainees.
The court denied an ACLU FOIA lawsuit for public disclosure.
- Names of 645 prisoners were released, but nothing about
their citizenship, length of imprisonment, and location and circumstances
of capture. The ACLU accused the Defense Department of "improperly
withholding these basic facts."
- ACLU's Melissa Goodman said:
- "Despite concerns that Bagram has become the new
Guantanamo, the public remains in the dark when it comes to basic facts
about the facility and whom our military is holding in indefinite military
detention there. The public has a right to know...." No transparency
"is even more disturbing considering the possibility that the US will
continue holding and interrogating prisoners at Bagram well into the future."
- The right-wing US District Court for the Southern District
of New York went along, violating international and US law, including provisions
of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions prohibiting:
- -- "violence to life and person, in particular murder
of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
- -- outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating
and degrading treatment;
- -- the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions
without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording
all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized
- -- requiring humane treatment under all circumstances.
- It's well known that Pentagon/CIA prisoners at Bagram,
Guantanamo, and other American torture prisons are brutalized, at times
murdered, and denied all basic rights under international law that automatically
is US law under the Constitution's Supremacy Clause, Article VI, Clause
2. It states:
- "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States
which shall be made Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which
shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme
Law of the Land; and Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any
Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary, notwithstanding."
- Report from Lahore, Pakistan
- On December 22, The International News (thenews.com)
headlined, "Counsel urges unity to bring to bring Aafia home,"
- Tina Foster said Muslims get second class justice in
America, and unless Pakistan pressures Washington to send Aafia home, all
Pakistanis will be at risk.
- Others as well everywhere, including American citizens
at home or abroad. Washington's extremism is so out-of-control that US
and international laws don't matter, nor do those of other countries violated
with impunity on their territory.
- At the Lahore Press Club, Foster said Aafia's court-appointed
attorneys would appeal her sentence, challenging both her conviction and
86 year imprisonment. If all Pakistanis and political parties were united
on her behalf, she said, Washington might listen.
- "The United States claims to have arrested Aafia
in Pakistan (so America) should have sent her (there). But instead, they
took a Pakistani sister and illegally transferred her all the way to the
US," after torturing her for years at Bagram.
- Foster added that Washington claims the right to imprison
Aafia for life far from home and family. If Pakistan lets this "stand,
the US government would have a green light to hold any Pakistani citizen
traveling abroad and illegally send them to the United States, a country
where Muslims get second class justice. If Pakistanis don't stand up for
Aafia, no one will be able to stand up for other Pakistanis at their hour
- In fact, most Muslims get no justice. They're illegally
entrapped and imprisoned for crimes they never planned or committed. Yet
America's media affirms guilt by accusation.
- Reports vilified Aafia when she was charged with offenses
never included in her indictment. Foster stressed her appalling confinement,
for months in isolation in a small prison cell. She's now at FMC Carswell,
a so-called medical center, known more for punishment than proper care.
- A Final Comment
- Kevin Cooper's case is also disturbing, an earlier article
accessed through the following link:
- A Black American citizen, he was framed and wrongfully
convicted of four June 1983 murders. Evidence proved him innocence, yet
he's languished on death row ever since, and faces execution without gubernatorial
clemency, pardon, or commutation of his sentence to life.
- On December 23, the Los Angeles was supportive in its
editorial headlined, "Governor, save inmate's life," saying:
- "Even supporters of capital punishment should object
to the execution of someone whose guilt is in serious doubt." Since
judicial action didn't save him, "the burden is on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger...."
- California has 717 inmates on death row. With near certainty,
many there are as innocent as Cooper. However, no one intervenes on their
behalf because they're poor, Black or Latino - throwaway people out of
sight and mind until lethal injections painfully kill them.
- "Much of the evidence against Cooper has been seriously
questioned, most comprehensively in an opinion by Judge William A. Fletcher
of the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, who dissented from a decision not
to hear" Cooper's appeal. The above link covers his dissent in detail
and his belief that Cooper is innocent, saying:
- Based on convincing evidence, Cooper "is probably
innocent of the crimes for which the state of California is about to execute
- The LA Times "opposes the death penalty under any
circumstances, and....wouldn't object if the governor commuted" all
717 death row inmates. "But execution is especially outrageous when
the prisoner may be innocent. Gov. Schwarzenegger should commute Cooper's
- In fact, he should pardon him (and others wrongfully
convicted), make full restitution for nearly three decades of injustice,
and provide substantial aid to help him readjust in society, free at last
and fully exonerated.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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