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SIGN to repatriate Dr. Aafia Siddiqui to her home in Pakistan!

Repatriate Dr. Aafia Siddiqui to her home in Pakistan!

We urge all individuals concerned with human rights to sign this international petition to U.S. and Pakistani government officials, urging the immediate repatriation to Pakistan of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.

Aafia Siddiqui holds a place in the hearts of people of conscience internationally irrespective of their faith, nationality or location. There is already immense international outrage about her case. Aafia Siddiqui has repeatedly maintained in court appearances that she was tortured while in U.S. custody.

This U.S.-educated doctor of neuroscience has come to symbolize the many hundreds of Pakistanis who have been secretly disappeared, detained and tortured, as well as the national outrage at the continuing deadly U.S. drone attacks.

The plight of the disappeared and missing in Pakistan is a cause of great national pain. Let us begin with this act of compassion to address this grievous problem.

Dr. Siddiqui’s five years in secret detention in Pakistan and Afghanistan, her grievous injuries, her two years in solitary confinement in the U.S. and her trial in New York City were continuing top news in Pakistan. Civil rights, religious and women’s organizations marched and petitioned, demanding the return of this “daughter of the nation” to Pakistan.

Dr. Siddiqui’s family and supporters have launched an international campaign for her repatriation to Pakistan. Aafia Siddiqui’s elderly mother is seriously ill and has pleaded for her daughter’s return.

Dr. Fauzia Siddiqui, Aafia Siddiqui’s older sister, in stressing the urgency of a campaign for Aafia Siddiqui’s repatriation, explained that under U.S. law a foreigner tried by a U.S. court could be repatriated to the country of his or her nationality on the request of their own government before the pronouncement of a sentence. She said there were 19 such precedents in which prisoners after indictment were repatriated to their countries on the request of their respective governments.

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is neither a U.S. citizen nor a permanent resident. She had only one passport, issued by the Pakistan government.

Dr. Siddiqui was not charged with committing any crime on U.S. soil; therefore she should not have been extradited to the U.S. for trial but either tried in Afghanistan or extradited to Pakistan. Dr. Siddiqui is not charged with terrorism nor is she charged with injuring or harming anyone anywhere. She is a victim of terrible life-threatening injuries.

The Pakistan government through diplomatic channels should insist on Aafia Siddiqui’s repatriation. The U.S. government, based on overwhelming Pakistani sentiment for Aafia Siddiqui’s return, should grant this humanitarian request.

Dr. Siddiqui was convicted despite all physical and forensic evidence that she could not have committed the acts with which she was charged.

The U.S. government should release all the secret documents regarding Aafia Siddiqui’s disappearance that were suppressed at her trial in NYC and the documents on the many other disappeared and missing people in Pakistan. As we have seen in the recent release of documents by Wikileaks, we cannot count on governments to give a true accounting of events that may prove embarrassing to various government officials.

BACKGROUND TO CASE
In March 2003, at the age of 30, Dr. Siddiqui disappeared along with her three children from a street in Karachi, Pakistan. On March 31, 2003, the Pakistan media reported that Dr. Siddiqui had been arrested and turned over to U.S. officials.

Dr. Siddiqui mysteriously reappeared on the streets of Ghazni, Afghanistan, following five years of secret detention. There she was immediately re-arrested, shot and almost killed. After emergency treatment, she was brought to the United States and held in solitary confinement for almost two years before being placed on trial in a federal court in New York City.

The government charges were preposterous. Dr. Siddiqui had supposedly been arrested in July 2008, five years after her disappearance. The U.S. claims that when U.S. military personnel came to interrogate her after the arrest, Siddiqui grabbed a U.S. soldier’s M4 gun, fired off two rounds and was herself shot while being subdued.

Questions of how the bullets, supposedly fired by Siddiqui, failed to hit a single one of the 20 to 30 people in a small, crowded room, or hit any wall or floor, or leave any residue or fingerprints, were never answered. Witness testimonies often contradicted their earlier sworn testimonies and the testimony of others. The prosecution urged the jury to ignore science and irrefutable facts and believe the contradictory testimony of U.S. Special Forces soldiers and FBI agents.

Despite her severe wounds and her pleas for mercy the court imposed daily abusive and painful strip searches. The court through unprecedented security measures sought to close the trial and intimidate all support. Most important is that throughout her trial Aafia Siddiqui refused her lawyers and made it clear that she was not represented by lawyers of her choice.

Dr. Siddiqui’s missing son Ahmed was reunited with his aunt in late 2008 while daughter Maryum was dropped near her aunt’s home in Karachi in April 2010 after she had been missing for seven years. Dr. Siddiqui’s youngest child, Suleman, who would now be about seven years old, remains missing and is feared dead.

There have been massive demonstrations in Pakistan’s major cities demanding the return of this 38-year-old mother, now dubbed the “daughter of Pakistan.”

For more information on Dr. Aafia Siddiqui's trial and treatment and the campaign to repatriate her, go to:
http://www.FreeAafia.org or http://www.JusticeForAafia.org.


SIGN THE PETITION TO U.S. AND PAKISTANI GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS.

You can send this message or you can edit and revise it.

COPIES WILL ALSO BE SENT TO MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA IN THE U.S. AND PAKISTAN.
Dear President Barack Obama, President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani :

I urge you to repatriate Dr. Aafia Siddiqui to her native Pakistan as a matter of urgency. Given all the facts and circumstances of this case, repatriation of Dr. Siddiqui to Pakistan would not only serve the interests of justice, but is also warranted on humanitarian grounds.

There are numerous credible reports that Dr. Siddiqui was abducted from Pakistan with her three young children in March 2003. Dr. Siddiqui claims that her captors detained her in a series of secret prisons for five years during which time she was abused in a variety of ways and tortured. Her youngest son, Suleman, remains missing to this day.

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is a citizen of Pakistan. She was not charged with committing any crime on U.S. soil, nor is she a U.S. citizen. She should not have been extradited to the U.S.

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is not charged with terrorism nor has she been charged with injuring or harming anyone anywhere. She is a victim of terrible life threatening injuries.

The plight of the disappeared and missing in Pakistan is a cause of great national pain. Let us begin with this act of compassion to address this grievous problem.

In light of the circumstances of this case, in which it appears that at a minimum, Dr. Siddiqui suffered severe physical and emotional trauma, we call upon you to exercise all lawful authority to allow Dr. Siddiqui to be repatriated to Pakistan on humanitarian grounds.

Based on the petition at:
http://www.iacenter.org/SiddiquiPetition

More than 75,000 emails have been sent with this message urging compassion, justice for Aafia Siddiqui and respect for the national sovereignty of Pakistan

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UPDATED Nov 14, 2010 3:39 PM
International Action Center • Solidarity Center • 147 W. 24th St., FL 2 • New York, NY 10011
Phone 212.633.6646 • E-mail: iacenter@iacenter.org • En Español: iac-cai@iacenter.org