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Aafia Siddique's Condition Worsens: British MP intervenes

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    British MP intervenes for Aafia Siddiqui Karin Friedemann September 29, 2008 http://karinfriedemann.blogspot.com/2008/09/lord-nazir-intervenes-for- aafia.html
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2008
      British MP intervenes for Aafia Siddiqui
      Karin Friedemann
      September 29, 2008

      Quite by chance I had the fortune of meeting British MP Lord Nazir
      Baron Ahmed, [of Rotherham in the County of South Yorkshire] at the
      Friday prayer. He was passing through Boston on his way to New York
      where he planned to speak to Aafia Siddiqui's lawyer in order to put
      some pressure on the US authorities to allow the sister to be
      hospitalized and treated for her gunshot wound as well as severe post-
      traumatic stress. In a phone conversation the next day, the Honorable
      Lord Ahmed shared with me how he came to know about her tragic fate.

      This summer, probably during their fact-finding mission to Darfur
      reported earlier in my blog, the famed reporter Yvonne Ridley
      approached Lord Ahmed to ask if he could find out anything about the
      legendary mystery of the "Grey Lady of Bagram."

      When Pakistani detainee Moazzem Begg was released without charge, he
      reported to the media that he still felt haunted by a woman's sobbing
      cries and hysterical screams coming from Cell #650 at the US-run
      torture den in Afghanistan. Saudis liberated from Bagram during the
      daring Taliban prison break-out also reported that they had seen her.

      Ahmed submitted some questions to the UK government, including
      whether the British intelligence service was involved in the
      interrogation of this woman, were they aware of abuse, and whether
      this lady was Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, the MIT and Brandeis-educated
      neuroscientist that mysteriously disappeared in Pakistan in March
      2003 along with her 6 month old baby, and children aged 5 and 6?

      Ahmed addressed a similar interrogatory letter to the US ambassador
      in the UK, who passed it along to the British embassy in Kabul.

      Pakistani politician Imran Khan held a press conference in Islamabad
      in order to rally public support for the "Grey Lady of Bagram." The
      Pakistani government denied any knowledge of Prisoner 650 or Aafia.
      The UK denied having custody of her and said she was in the hands of
      the US. The US claimed that Prisoner 650 was "a different woman," who
      had been released in 2005 to her (unnamed) country of origin.

      Yet that same day this past July, when Kabul received the letter from
      Lord Ahmed, according to US authorities, Aafia Siddiqui was
      reportedly arrested while she was wandering around in Afghanistan "as
      if she were on bloody holiday," in the words of Lord Ahmed, who
      rejects the dubious claim that was suddenly found in Afghanistan,
      carrying chemical, biological and radioactive weapons information as
      well as jars of chemicals in her purse. Siddiqui has no military
      expertise. Her primary focus of study was children's cognitive

      Human Rights Watch attorney, Carol Mariner states: "US federal
      prosecutors allege that the day after her arrest, while she was still
      in Afghan custody, she grabbed a gun from the floor and fired it at a
      team of US soldiers and federal intelligence agents visiting the
      Afghan police compound where she was being held.

      Lord Ahmed however informed me that according to witnesses, the US
      had told the Afghan authorities to hand Siddiqui over and the Afghan
      police were resisting. As they were negotiating, Siddiqui began to
      walk towards the US soldiers as she complained that the Afghan police
      were abusing her. One of the American soldiers panicked and shot the
      petite, unarmed woman in the stomach.

      According to a cageprisoners.com report by Abu Sabaya, Siddiqui has
      never received adequate medical treatment for her bullet wound except
      for a botched bullet-removal surgery under US custody, in which one
      of her kidneys and part of her intestine were removed with the result
      that she is unable to properly digest food and that her entire torso
      is covered with layers of scar tissue. She was brought, emaciated and
      in horrifying condition, to trial in New York in a wheelchair in
      September 2008. Not only was she in severe pain then, but her
      condition has reportedly since worsened significantly. Her next trial
      was then postponed indefinitely a couple weeks ago under the excuse
      that she had refused the body cavity strip search required for her to
      leave her cell.

      After much international media outcry, Aafia's American-born son was
      located in an Afghan prison and was handed over to his relatives in
      Pakistan, while Siddiqui was transferred to a Federal Prison in New
      York. No one knows what happened to her young daughter or her baby,
      although there is talk throughout Pakistan that one of them was
      killed, said Lord Ahmed.

      Aafia's lawyers believe that she has spent the last five years as a
      secret captive of Pakistani or American authorities. Before her
      abduction on March 18, 2003, the FBI had issued an alert requesting
      information about her. Siddique was then living in Pakistan, after
      having completed her studies in the US.

      Pakistani papers reported that she had been "picked up in Karachi by
      an intelligence agency," during a time when dozens of "terrorist
      suspects" were being rounded up, including random tourists, in order
      for Pakistan to collect the head bounty fee for America's "war on
      terror." Siddique was reportedly handed over to US authorities.

      During her years as an undergraduate and graduate student, Aafia was
      like a force of nature in her missionary zeal. She was very active in
      the Muslim Students' Association, in helping to manage a religious
      information (daw'ah) table in the MIT student center, in teaching
      Quran to recent converts to Islam, in prison ministry, and in
      collecting winter boots to send to Bosnia.

      A 2004 article from Boston Magazine quotes her: "Imagine our humble,
      but sincere daw'ah effort turning into a major daw'ah movement in
      this country! Just imagine it! And us, reaping the reward of everyone
      who accepts Islam through this movement, through years to come. Think
      and plan big. May Allah give this strength and sincerity to us so
      that our humble effort continue, and expands until America becomes a
      Muslim land."

      It is very possible that Boston neocons pinpointed this sincerely
      religious, sweet and idealistic student for neutralization. During
      the conflict over the Roxbury Mosque several Boston Jewish
      organizations conspired in deliberate character assassination of the
      founders of the Roxbury Mosque as "terror supporters" in an effort
      that included a bogus legal and media campaign in which the NE
      Israeli Consulate participated with the aim of causing a scandal in
      the hope that the multi-million dollar mosque building project would
      either be shut down or collapse.

      In the course of the conflict, the David Project as well as other
      organizations and individuals collaborated with Steve Emerson and
      Rita Katz, two professional anti-Islam propagandists with links to
      the neocon establishment, to develop a list of incriminating sounding
      accusations and suspicious links that would be used to defame Muslim
      leaders in the Boston and national media. Although the accusations
      were baseless, the mysteriously well-funded organizations created a
      hostile and malicious media campaign with innuendo-laden press
      releases by the David Project front group, "Citizens for Peace and

      It is more than highly probable that one of these shadowy Zionist
      advocacy groups conspired against Siddiqui, used the same techniques
      developed during the Roxbury Mosque controversy and passed the same
      sort of faked evidence to the FBI. Had she been in the US, probably
      after a brief investigation, the FBI would have found nothing and
      left her alone, but because Pakistan was under heavy pressure to
      produce terrorists for the US to imprison, and because US
      Constitutional protections do not apply to the Americans in Pakistan,
      the young woman was abducted while she was on the way to the train

      Although all the evidence the FBI seems have on her and her husband
      seem to be some debit card donations to Islamic charities, the US
      government later alleged that they were both linked to al Qaeda.
      Siddiqui's husband, Ali 'Abd al-'Aziz Ali (also known as Ammar al-
      Baluchi), disappeared from Karachi around March 28, 2003.

      Siddiqui's husband was finally located in September 2006 in
      Guantanamo, where he had been transferred from CIA custody. He is
      currently on trial for allegedly "sending money to suicide squads"
      according to the Miami Herald. Prosecutors are charging him, along
      with his uncle Khalid Sheik Mohammed, whom they absurdly refer to as
      the "9/11 Mastermind," of conspiring with Osama bin Laden to plan and
      to finance the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.

      This is a very curious charge, given that the FBI has publicly
      admitted that they have no evidence connecting Osama bin Laden to
      9/11 according to information which is freely available on the FBI
      website, while "suicide squad" is a term found only in comic books.

      Baluchi, a computer engineer, who speaks near-perfect English, has
      refused to accept legal representation and has chosen to represent
      himself in the military tribunal.

      The Miami Herald quoted him as saying, ''I am in the wrong court. I
      am not a criminal. My case is political. Even though the government
      tortured me free of charge for all these years, I cannot accept
      lawyers under these circumstances.''

      The ACLU, whose lawyers were poised to argue on his behalf, blamed
      Pentagon regulations for thwarting any possibility of the development
      of a trust relationship with the potential client, who had been
      tortured for five years and had unsurprisingly come to mistrust all

      His uncle, Khalid Shayk Muhammad, who confessed to planning
      9/11 "from A to Z" while he was being waterboarded, also admitted to
      a long list of other terrorist acts, including the London train
      bombing of 2005, which he could not have possibly committed since he
      was in Guantanamo at the time of its occurrence.

      Lord Ahmed asked the US authorities for permission to see Siddique in
      New York, and the US Justice Department said they would facilitate a
      visit. However, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has repeatedly tried to
      obstruct his access. Ahmed has since decided it would not be useful
      for him to visit Siddiqui anyway as she has reportedly gone mad.

      She is locked in solitary confinement in New York's Metropolitan
      Detention Center and can only speak to her lawyer through the slot
      for her meal tray. She is in tremendous physical agony and speaks of
      waiting for God to take her and her children. She apparently believes
      her young children are in there with her but this belief is probably
      the tragic maternal hallucinations of an emotionally destroyed human
      being, whose children had been stolen out of her arms by armed
      soldiers. According to one media report, she refused her dinner asked
      that the food be given to her son.

      Siddiqui's lawyer feels that she is so mentally traumatized and
      incoherent that she is not fit to stand trial. She absolutely needs
      to be moved immediately to a prison hospital for treatment of her
      gunshot wound as well as to obtain some psychological help.

      Without making any attempt to explain themselves the Federal
      authorities are obstructing her access to medical treatment. The US
      government is pressuring the judge and demanding that she remain
      alone in her cell. The American ambassador N.W. Peterson objected to
      Siddiqui receiving medical treatment, claiming that she is
      a "security threat."

      It is fairly clear to the author that the US wants her to die in
      order to prevent her from testifying about her prison experience, or
      else in order to inflame the Pakistani public into rioting against
      the US.

      Pakistan is passionately demanding Aafia Siddiqui's re-patriation.
      She has huge public support.

      Benazir Bhutto's widower Asif Ali Zardari, the recently elected
      President of Pakistan, said in a televised speech, "Aafia Siddiqui is
      my sister."

      Lord Ahmed will continue to work with the US Justice Department,
      Homeland Security, and other intelligence agencies, Siddiqui's
      lawyers and the Prosecution to help facilitate family and doctor
      visits for her, and to bring about Siddiqui's return to Pakistan.

      Aafia's brother in Texas has recently been offered access to see her.



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