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Tell U.S. to ‘Free Aafia Siddiqui!’

McKinney, Flounders to visit Pakistan

By LeiLani Dowell

November 30, 2012

In support of continuing efforts to pressure the U.S. government to repatriate Dr. Aafia Siddiqui to Pakistan, former U.S. Congressperson Cynthia McKinney and International Action Center Co-Director Sara Flounders will travel to Pakistan from Dec. 2-9.

The trip will focus on due process and justice and expose U.S. practices of secret renditions, illegal confinement and torture — practices highlighted by Siddiqui’s case.

Siddiqui is a Pakistani political prisoner who has been held in solitary confinement for years in U.S. prisons. She was tried for attempting to shoot U.S. interrogators in Afghanistan in 2008. Although the only person injured in the supposed attack was Siddiqui herself — she was shot in the stomach — the court sentenced her to 86 years in U.S. federal prison in 2010.

Siddiqui’s many supporters note that, as a citizen of Pakistan who was never charged with committing a crime on U.S. soil, she should not have been extradited to the U.S. in the first place. During her highly publicized trial, the U.S. corporate media consistently labeled Siddiqui a “terrorist.”

For many in Pakistan, Siddiqui stands as a national symbol of the many who have been “disappeared” from their homes. In court appearances, she described being abducted from Pakistan with her three young children; her youngest son, Suleman, remains missing. Siddiqui has consistently asserted that while in U.S. custody in Afghanistan, she was held in a series of secret prisons, tortured and abused. She has overwhelming support among the Pakistani people, who want their sister returned to them both in the interest of justice and on humanitarian grounds.

Outside of Pakistan, Siddiqui’s case has garnered international support. A petition released by the IAC has been signed by individuals around the world, generating more than 100,000 email messages sent to U.S., United Nations and Pakistani officials, as well as major media outlets. Unburdened by the bogus “terrorist” claim against her, the IAC organized in support of Siddiqui’s freedom throughout her trial and sentencing.

Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui, her sister, and the Free Aafia Movement are organizing Flounders’ and McKinney’s trip to Pakistan, which will help further the demand for Aafia Siddiqui’s immediate repatriation to Pakistan and an end to kidnapping and torture practices under the auspices of the U.S. so-called “war on terror.” That war includes near-daily U.S. drone attacks on Pakistan and the assassination of Muslims who have been targeted by the CIA.

The IAC petition can be found at www.iacenter.org/SiddiquiPetition. For more information on Siddiqui’s case, visit —freeaafia.com.

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UPDATED Dec 1, 2012 8:31 AM
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