Thursday, September 16, 2010

[wvns] Sarah Shourd vs. Aafia Siddiqui

The release of Sarah Shourd, and continued imprisonment
of Aafia Siddiqui
El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan:
SHAWWAL 1431 A.H. (September 14, 2010)

Assalaamu Alaikum (Greetings of Peace):

An Important Note to the Friends of Peace & Justice:

While I sincerely welcome the humanitarian health-related release of Sarah Shourd - a U.S. citizen who has reportedly been imprisoned in Iran since July of last year (2009) - I'm deeply saddened that another woman, a Muslim woman of Pakistan, who was just 31 years of age when she disappeared within U.S. custody over seven years ago, still remains imprisoned in the United States of America under horrific conditions.

I also find the grossly imbalanced media attention that has been devoted (and not devoted, in fair and equal measure) to these two cases in the United States, both disturbing and revealing to say the least. I pray that in the days ahead, Iranian officials will find a way to channel some of the enormous attention accompanying the release of Sarah Shourd into an international spotlight on the ongoing political imprisonment of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui (under torturous conditions) right here on U.S. soil!

Please review the following for additional background on Aafia's case, and share it with others. We need a MASS MOBILIZATION at the courthouse on the day Aafia is sentenced!

El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan



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.

After 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.


THE FLOODS OF PAKISTAN and Dr. Aafia Siddiqui
El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan:
SHAWWAL 1431 A.H (September 14, 2010)

Assalaamu Alaikum (Greetings of Peace):
In his book titled In the Line of Fire, former Pakistani President Parvez Musharraf makes the following boast:

"We have captured 689 ["Muslim terrorists"] and handed over 369 to the United States. Various Pakistani individuals have earned bounties totaling millions of dollars. Those who habitually accuse us of "not doing enough" in the war on terror should simply ask the CIA how much prize money it has paid to Pakistanis."

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui was one of those suspected "terrorists"

I am presently working on a commentary that will be entitled (insha'Allah), The Floods of Pakistan: A Message to the Muslim World? The commentary will attempt to examine the question of why ALLAH Almighty would allow such devastation to visit a "Muslim" country.

I believe the aforementioned quote of General Musharraf, coupled with the duplicity imbedded in the report and opinion below, helps to shed some light on some of the answers behind that rhetorical question. Please read and reflect, and then pass it on to others.

El-Hajj Mauri' Saalakhan


Zardari Government Impedes Repatriation Efforts for Dr. Aafia, Says Pakistan American National Alliance
PR Newswire

ISLAMABAD and WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Government of Pakistan has refused to cooperate with the efforts of an international delegation of prominent experts scheduled to visit Pakistan to advocate for the repatriation of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a U.S.-educated child specialist, being tried in a NY Court for the attempted murder of U.S. soldiers. Independent journalists like Yvonne Ridley believe that she was illegally kidnapped in 2003 by Pakistani and U.S. agencies and held incommunicado, along with her three children, one of whom might be dead.

The Pakistan American National Alliance (PANA) organized the group's visit in order to provide expertise to facilitate Dr. Aafia's repatriation, improve Pakistan-U.S. relations, and lend support to the Pakistan Government in the aftermath of a cataclysmic flood.

The delegation was to be led by former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. However, Ms. McKinney's visa application was unreasonably delayed before being denied without explanation by Pakistani authorities.

"I am shocked by the lack of support offered to our delegation by Pakistani authorities; I thought we were on the same side," McKinney said. "I know the Pakistani people want Dr. Aafia to come home," McKinney added.

Other members of the delegation include UK Member of Parliament Lord Nazir Ahmed, as well as world-renowned investigative journalist and expert on Dr. Siddiqui's case, Ms. Yvonne Ridley.

PANA Founder Dr. Agha Saeed stated, "The denial of visas by Mr. Zardari's NRO government lends further credence to the popular belief that his government is resisting Dr. Aafia's repatriation to avoid harrowing revelations about thousands of other missing Pakistanis."

PANA has urged the government of Pakistan to act now -- prior to sentencing -- to secure Dr. Siddiqui's repatriation. Under applicable U.S. law, once there is a final judgment of conviction entered against Dr. Siddiqui, she cannot be returned to Pakistan unless it is pursuant to a prisoner transfer treaty. There is currently no such treaty in force between the U.S. and Pakistan.

The government of Pakistan can avoid unnecessary legal impediments, as other governments have done, if it takes serious steps now to repatriate Dr. Siddiqui. At any time before sentencing, expected to occur on 23 September 2010, U.S. prosecutors have the authority to dismiss the charges if they believe the interests of justice and public policy are advanced. The Pakistani government has been fully aware of this information since early this year.


A Related Note from Yvonne Ridley

Can someone remind Husain Haqqani, the Pakistani Ambassador in Washington, he is working FOR Pakistan and not the USA - he is deliberately jeopardising moves to repatriate Dr Aafia Siddiqui.

He has deliberately briefed some of my associates in New York's media village against Dr Aafia Siddiqui while publicly telling people he is doing all in his power to help her.

He's had at least one private meeting with the trial judge BEFORE the verdict was reached. This man is doing everything behind the scenes to destroy Aafia's reputation and therefore keep her locked up in the USA.

I'm not sure who he is working for but it is not the Pakistan people. He has now blocked attempts to get Cynthia McKinney a visa to join our international delegation to Pakistan.

Please, if any of you are in a position to expose his duplicity and double dealings please do. You can quote this email. he thinks he has been so subtle in his dealings with the western media but many of them are my friends.

Sr Yvonne Ridley


A closing thought: I once again advise the leaders and organizations in America (esp. the Pakistani leaders and organizations) to STOP aiding and abetting the criminal act committed against this Muslim woman, through (at minimum) SILENCE in the face of this oppression! - MS



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