Dr Aafia Siddiqui found guilty

February 6 2010

A press release issued by the department in Washington says that Dr Aafia, 37, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each of the attempted murder and armed assault charges; life imprisonment on the firearm charge; and eight years in prison on each of the remaining assault charges. She also faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years in prison on the firearm charge.

She is scheduled to be sentenced on May 6.

On Wednesday, a court in Manhattan, New York, found her guilty on charges related to the attempted murder and assault of US nationals and US officers and employees in Afghanistan.

She was found guilty of all charges against her following a 14-day jury trial before United States District Judge Richard M. Berman in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

In a case marked by controversy and courtroom disruptions, after three days of deliberation the jury rejected Dr Aafia’s claims that she did not attempt to shoot and kill American interrogators at an Afghan police compound on July 18, 2008.

“The family is trying to deal with this news, and they unfortunately have been subjected to a lot of bad news in the last six years,” Tina Foster, Dr Aafia’s family spokeswoman and a human rights lawyer for the New York-based International Justice Network, told reporters.

Her unknown whereabouts between 2003 and 2008 has been the subject of much debate among human rights organisations and US government officials. The government claims Dr Aafia was linked to Al Qaeda, while human rights organisations claim she was detained and tortured in US-backed secret prisons.

Prosecutors said she was taken into custody at an Afghan police station in the city of Ghazni on July 17, 2008, on suspicion of being a suicide bomber after Afghan officials caught her with paperwork mentioning ‘cells’ and a ‘mass casualty attack’. Source

February 5 2010

Dr Siddiqui was convicted for the attempted killing of US agents while in detention in Afghanistan in 2008.

Jamaat-e-Islami’s women activists took out a rally outside Mansoora, party’s headquarters, on Multan Road to register their protest. Participants carrying placards raised slogans against US and Pakistani governments.

“This is a test case for the Ummah and (Muslim) rulers whether they show any reaction or not,” Jamaat chief Syed Munawar Hasan said in a statement.

“No body expected a different decision from the US especially in the presence of ‘insensible’ (Pakistani) rulers and the verdict is an American slap on their face.”

He asked Interior Minister Rehman Malik to prove his words that the nation would soon hear good news about Dr Siddiqui.

PTI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan demanded that the governments of Pakistan and the US clarify how Dr Siddiqui with her three minor children landed up in Bagram in Afghanistan. In a statement, he said what had been the fate of her children, since two of them were still missing.

He said the Pakistan government did not take proper action to ensure her return to Pakistan. He said the verdict would impact the military operation in the tribal belt.

LHCBA: A general house meeting of the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) passed a resolution condemning the decision and “indifferent attitude of the Pakistani government” towards the case.

Lawyers demanded immediate release of Dr Siddiqui and her two children as, they said, allegations against her were baseless and she was a victim of American injustice against the Muslims.

LHCBA President Justice Nasira Iqbal (retired) said the partiality of the American judicial system was evident from the fact that during the trial no Muslim journalist was allowed to enter the court. She also condemned the murder of former NWFP advocate general Sardar Khan.

Supreme Court Bar Association Secretary Raja Zulqarnain also condemned the verdict, saying America that claimed to be the champion of human rights had turned to be the violator of human rights in the world.

Judicial Activism Panel Chairman Muhammad Azhar Siddique in a statement dubbed the decision “black and draconian”.

He said as no evidence supported the decision it violated the provisions of the United Nations Charter, 1945, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1966, World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna Declaration and Program of Action (1993).

He said the US jury had failed to notice the abduction of Dr Siddiqui from Karachi and her detention in Afghanistan and America, hence the decision was prejudice, biased, illegal and an attempt to save the American agencies involved in the abduction of the doctor.

Tehrik-e-Istiqlal President Rehmat Khan Wardag and Jamaatud Dawa amir Prof Muhammad Saeed also condemned the US jury.  Source

Not to sure about this, with the lack of evidence I have a hard time understanding how they found her guilty of anything. I certainly hope her lawyers goes for an appeal.


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Published in: on February 6, 2010 at 1:58 am  Comments Off on Dr Aafia Siddiqui found guilty  
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