Moazzam Begg returns to the home of his abduction in Pakistan
A delegation from the UK has arrived in Pakistan to put pressure on the Pakistani government to demand the immediate return of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
The delegation includes investigative journalist, Yvonne Ridley, Patron of Cageprisoners and the producer of the documentary "The search for prisoner 650
Moazzam Begg, Director of Cageprisoners, former detainee at Bagram and Guantanamo Bay and author "Enemy Combatant"
Saghir Hussain, lawyer and board adviser to Cageprisoners.
Yvonnne Ridley criticised the role played by the Pakistani Ambassador to Washington, Hussain Haqqani for failing to be robust and transparent in his advocacy for the release of the daughter of Pakistan. She contrasted his decision to grant hundreds of visas to US security personnel with his refusal to grant a visa to ex Congress member Cynthia Mackinney and asked the question as to whose interests is he protecting?
She also highlighted the fact that that the trial was totally unfair as the judge refused the defence to present some very startling facts that would have compelled even the most hardened jury to sympathise with Dr Aafia Siddiqui. Particularly the fact that Dr Siddiqui was kidnapped outside her home in Karachi, held in secret detention, separated from her children and subjected to brutal and in humane treatment for several years.
Moazzam Begg stated that he was abducted from his then home in Pakistan in front of his children in the same manner as Aafia Siddiqui except he had the opportunity to be released after no evidence being found of wrongdoing whereas Dr Siddiqui has not been given the opportunity to present her case fairly.
He made an emotional return to his previous home in Islamabad yesterday from where he was kidnapped and vowed that he will continue to campaign for Dr Siddiqui until she is also reunited with her family. He urged the people of Pakistan not to feel despondent and continue with their prayers and rally for Dr Siddiqui until the Pakistan government makes a genuine attempt to bring her back home. He urged the Pakistan government especially the Prime Minister and the President to use all their diplomatic and political channels for her return.
Saghir Hussain, lawyer stated that as current events relating to the Ground Zero mosque and the issue of the burning of the Qur'an shows, the hatred of Muslims in the US shows no sign of abating. These incidents are often reflected in a courtroom when Muslims face any allegation from the US authorities. It is virtually impossible for a US jury or indeed a politically ambitious judge to give justice. Aafia Siddiqui has been a victim of a massive miscarriage of justice.
Dr Fowzia Siddiqui, the sister of Aafia Siddiqui thanked the delegation for all their hard work and noted that Cageprisoners were highlighting her sisters kidnapping soon after she was cruelly taken away from her family. She demanded that the Pakistan government must now get serious and make a formal diplomatic request to the US govt for immediate repatriation before sentencing is announced on 23 September 2010. If the government fails to bring her back then it will be responsible for the continued agitation by people all over Pakistan who will not rest until the daughter of pakistan is back home.
Cageprisoners is a human rights NGO that exists to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror. We aim to give a voice to the voiceless.
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