Previous articles discussed her 2003 abduction,
detention, torture, false charges, prosecution, and conviction despite
clear evidence she's innocent.
Nonetheless, in September 2010, she was wrongly sentenced to 86
years in prison. Imprisoning her for hours, let alone years,
constitutes gross injustice. Doing so compounded years of horrific
treatment in US custody, including sadistic torture.
On February 10, lawyers appealed her case before the New York-based
US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Attorney Dawn Cardi
argued that Aafia's treatment left her emotionally incapable of
testifying on her own behalf, despite her client's objections.
She was hospitalized at the time under the influence of percocet and
other pain medication for her injuries.
Moreover, years of brutal torture left her paranoid schizophrenic
from the ordeal. During oral arguments, Cardi challenged alleged
evidence presented. It was entirely fraudulent on its face. She also
claimed Aafia's statements were involuntarily obtained. As a result,
new trial proceedings are warranted.
Notably, imposed terrorism enhancements (TEs) compounded imposed
injustice. They're used against defendants convicted of trying to
influence or coerce government policy by alleged involvement in or
promotion of terrorist acts. As a result, the obscure 1995 measure
lets judges dramatically increase sentences unjustly up to 20 years.
Dozens of defendants were wrongfully harmed. Judges go along with
malicious prosecutors trying victims like Siddiqui on false charges.
They're then aggravated by bogus terrorist accusations.
Even legitimate criminals convicted of minor charges are treated
like hardened offenders. Justice is entirely denied, especially
after courts ruled judges can apply TEs to defendants not convicted
of terrorism charges.
Prosecutors need only convince judges that alleged crimes targeted
government policy, and "involved or is intended to promote, a
federal crime of terrorism," whether or not any act occurred.
On the basis of this phrase, judges have complete discretion to
apply TEs indiscriminately. Siddiqui's one of many victims.
Her fate's in the hands of three appellate judges: Richard Wesley,
Susan Carney and Roslynn Mauskopf. Cardi expects their ruling in
three or four months after which "there is no other recourse. Unless
there is a constitutional issue of significance, you cannot make an
appeal to the Supreme Court, but it's too early to say."
The International Justice Network (IJN) on Aafia
Founded in 2006, IJN provides legal help to survivors of human
rights abuses and their families. It particularly focuses on "global
war on terror" victims like Aafia.
In February 2011, it published a report titled, "Aafia Siddiqui:
Just the Facts," stating.
Overwhelming evidence shows Pakistan abducted her in Karachi while
visiting family. At the time, she was interrogated by government
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) operatives and FBI agents.
As a result, Pakistan "should take firm and immediate action to
bring this grave injustice to an end, and demand that the US
government repatriate" her.
Significantly, America did precisely the same thing to Islamabad.
Washington compounded it by threats to sever diplomatic relations
for noncompliance. If Pakistan demanded Aafia's repatriation, IJN
believes humanitarian grounds alone would free her.
Her physical and emotional health demand it. After horrific
treatment for years, they've deteriorated badly. Keeping her
imprisoned constitutes cruel and unusual punishment as defined under
the Eighth Amendment.
Until then, IJN attorneys said they'll "continue to expose the truth
and seek justice for Dr. Siddiqui and the thousands of other
prisoners who have been unjustly imprisoned as part of (America's)
'global war on terror.' "
Fowzia Siddiqui's Planned Speech for Aafia
Aafia's sister Fowzia is a Harvard trained neurologist. On February
10, she released the following text from Karachi, saying:
"Today we are gathered here to draw your attention to (America's)
"We are not here to create a disturbance or take the law into our
hands. We are not against the people of the United States nor do we
intend to denounce them."
"We are not here to play a circular blame game."
"We want to state our words directly without the duplicity of
Americans are as much victims "of illegitimate and divisive policies
in their own country as we are in ours."
Pakistan's "struggling to be a true democracy," including "the right
to protest and express our concerns" against injustice. "It occurs
when those in power lose their moral compass and take their nations
from a path of progress to one of tyranny and decay."
"One case (symbolizes) all that has gone wrong during the War on
Terror and the greater 'Clash of Civilizations' that (America,
Western partners and Israel) force upon unwitting populations. It is
the case of my sister Aafia Siddiqui. She is not hard to find. The
new line of Gulags runs straight to Carswell prison in Texas."
Her imprisonment shames "all the great principles (alleged) in the
name of democracy and human rights. It was a great, open and visible
act of injustice."
Americans need to know about their government's lawless/scandalous
treatment of innocent victims like Aafia. Wrongful detention,
horrific torture, and show trial injustice define her case. It
culminated in wrongly sentencing her to 86 years in prison.
Truths too despicable to hide eventually come out. In the spirit of
peace and reconciliation, it's time "to reciprocate and return Aafia
and the thousands of others" disappeared in America's gulag hell.
Fowzia "demand(s America) let our people go."
As part of a peaceful march, she planned to speak before America's
Karachi consulate. The Pasban Voice Against Injustice participated.
An "unknown unit in police uniforms" confronted them and others
Tear gas, water cannons, and batons were used. Fowzia was beaten.
She sustained facial injuries, was arrested and detained. Her son
was also apprehended and threatened. Pasban's president sustained
broken bones. Other marches were also beaten, including women.
Pakistan's complicity with US crimes continues. Justice for Aafia
remains denied. Obama ruthlessly sustains it. Fowzia endorses
compassion for everyone, "regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or
She and allies face two rogue regimes denying it. Aafia symbolizes
all wrongfully persecuted people.
Freeing her remains elusive. Her liberating struggle continues.
Urgent global human rights support is needed.
Injustice denied her and other victims harms everyone potentially
vulnerable. We're all political prisoners until they're freed.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to
cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the
Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network
Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon.
All programs are archived for easy listening.