MIT-educated newroscientist on trial for alleged plot


My children were tortured, this trial is a sham: Aafia Siddiqui
Wed, 20 Jan 2010 02:18:01 GMT
Aafia Siddiqui
Demonstrators in Pakistan call for the release of Aafia Siddiqui.
Pakistani citizen Aafia Siddiqui has told jurors at her trial that she was held in a secret prison in Afghanistan, her children were tortured, and the case against her is a sham.

On Tuesday, Siddiqui was thrown out of the New York courtroom where her trail is being held after shouting the remarks at the jurors.

The MIT-educated neuroscientist is currently on trial, facing charges of trying to kill US soldiers and FBI agents in Afghanistan in 2008 and connections with Al-Qaeda operatives.

She was ejected from her federal court trial after her second outburst, Bloomberg reported.

“Since I’ll never get a chance to speak,” she said in the courtroom. “If you were in a secret prison, or your children were tortured…”

She insisted that she knew nothing about a plan to carry out terrorist attacks on targets in New York, The New York Daily News reported.

“Give me a little credit, this is not a list of targets of New York,” she said. “I was never planning to bomb it. You’re lying.”

Siddiqui vanished in Karachi, Pakistan with her three children on March 30, 2003. The next day it was reported in local newspapers that she had been taken into custody on terrorism charges.

US officials allege Aafia Siddiqui was seized on July 17, 2008 by Afghan security forces in Ghazni province and claim that documents, including formulas for explosives and chemical weapons, were found in her handbag.

They say that while she was being interrogated, she grabbed a US warrant officer’s M-4 rifle and fired two shots at FBI agents and military personnel but missed and that the warrant officer then fired back, hitting her in the torso.

She was brought to the United States to face charges of attempted murder and assault. Siddiqui faces 20 years in prison if convicted.

However, human rights organizations have cast doubt on the accuracy of the US account of the event.

Many political activists believe she was Prisoner 650 of the US detention facility in Bagram, Afghanistan, where they say she was tortured for five years until one day US authorities announced that they had found her in Afghanistan.

JR/HGL

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=116600&sectionid=351020401

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Posted on 2010/01/20, in The World Today and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. united4justice

    The way things are going in USA courts, it seems Aafia is not going to get a fair trial. The real issue of her relationship with Al-Qaeda will not be addressed because FBI doesn’t have any evidence and the charges put on her are real baseless. Anyone with even minor sense of justice can see the shallowness of the fabricated evidence.
    She is charged of snatching a weapon and trying to shoot American soldiers .The real great thing is that in the process she herself got shot.
    This is all bullshit and ridiculous. Is American army an army of eunuchs? A weak woman snatches a gun and tries to shoot them?
    There is still no clue about the 2 missing children of Aafia.

    It’s also interesting that even after so many years (she was abducted in 2003 from Pakistan by USA and Pakistani agencies which was also reported at that time in local and international media) FBI has come up with such a lame case and even in that they didn’t have enough evidence to connect her with Al-Qaida or terrorist activities so this question was put aside by the court.

    Below is a summary of news items published in local newspapers regarding her abduction. They are part of letters published in DAWN Newspaper written by Aafia’s Uncle.
    This should be enough for those who still think that Aafia was arrested in 2008 from Afghanistan.
    —————————————————————————————————————————————–
    Source : http://www.draafia.org/wap/index-wap2.php?p=324
    Publisher: DAWN – daily English newspaper – Karachi, Pakistan:
    Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s Disappearance

    (DAWN.com) – In the first week of April 2003, several news items were published in [Pakistan’s] national dailies and broadcast from private TV channel regarding the sudden disappearance of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui from Karachi as of other Pakistanis who have been [illegally] handed over to the Americans. The following is a chronological account of Dr. Siddiqui’s disappearance and the current status of the situation:
    (1) Dr. [Aafia] Siddiqui, who studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT], U.S., for about 10 years and did her PhD in genetics, returned to Pakistan in 2002. Having failed to get a suitable job, she again visited the U.S. on a valid visa in February 2003 to search for a job and to submit an application to the U.S.
    Immigration authorities. She moved there freely and came back to Karachi by the end of February 2003 after renting a post office box in her name in Maryland for the receipt of her mail. It has been claimed by the FBI, June 23, 2003, issue) that the box was hired for one Mr. Majid Khan, an alleged member of Al-Qaeda residing in Baltimore [Maryland, USA].
    (2) Throughout March 2003, flashes of the particulars of Dr. [Aafia] Siddiqui were telecast/relayed, with her photo on American TV channels and radios, painting her as a dangerous [imaginary] Al-Qaeda person needed by the FBI for interrogation.
    (3) On learning of the above [illegal] campaign of the FBI about her, she went underground in Karachi and remained so till her [unlawful] kidnapping, apparently by FBI-hired intelligence personnel, at the end of March [2003].
    (4) Between March 25 and March 31 [2003], she rang up her mother from some location in Karachi informing her about her intention to go to Rawalpindi. The following day an Urdu daily published the news of her [illegal] arrest by the police while she was on her way to Karachi airport. At the time of her [unlawful] kidnapping she was accompanied by her three children, aged three-and-a-half months to seven years.
    (5) On April 1, 2003, a small news item was published in an Urdu daily with reference to a press conference of Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayat when, in reply to a question regarding the arrest of Dr. [Aafia] Siddiqui, he said: “She has not been arrested.”
    (6) There was another news item in an Urdu daily on April 2 [2003] regarding another press conference when the Interior Minister said Dr. Siddiqui was connected to Al-Qaeda and that she had not been arrested as she was absconding. He added: “You will be astonished to know about the activities of Dr. Aafia (Siddiqui).”
    (7) A motorcyclist in plainclothes knocked at the door of the mother of Dr. [Aafia] Siddiqui (Mrs. Ismat Siddiqui) and told her: “We know that you are connected to higher-ups. But it would be better for you if you keep quiet regarding your daughter. She and her children are OK with us.”
    ( 8 ) The June 23, 2003 issue of Newsweek International has been exclusively devoted to the so-called Al-Qaeda. The core of the issue is an [idiotic and illegitimate] article “Al Qaeda’s Network in America”. The [false and fraudulent] article has three photographs of so-called Al-Qaeda members – Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and Ali S. Al Marri of Qatar who has studied in the U.S. like Dr. Siddiqui and had long gone back to his homeland. In this article, which has been authored by eight journalists who had access to FBI records, the only charge leveled against Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is that “she rented a post-office box to help a former resident of Baltimore named Majid Khan (alleged Al-Qaeda suspect) to help establish his U.S. identity. She was also ’supposed’ to support other Al-Qaeda operatives as they entered the United States.”
    (9) The article states that Dr. [Aafia] Siddiqui was arrested in Pakistan contrary to the repeated statements of our Interior Minister.
    (10) On 30-12-2003, Dr. Fawzia Siddiqui, elder sister of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, saw Mr. Faisal Saleh Hayat at Islamabad with Mr. Ejaz ul Haq, MNA, regarding the whereabouts of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Dr. Fawzia Siddiqui is a neurologist, studied at and did her doctorate in the U.S. She was head of the neurology department at Johns Hopkins.
    Mr. Faisal Saleh Hayat told Dr. Fawzia and Mr. Ejaz ul Haq that according to his information, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui had already been released and that Dr. Fawzia Siddiqui should go home and wait for some phone call from her sister. But, alas, that phone call has not yet come (third week of March [2004]) and the whole family of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, including the author of these lines, are in a state of severe mental torture.
    S.H. FARUQI
    Tuesday, 30 March 2004
    Islamabad, Pakistan
    Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s Disappearance
    (DAWN.com) – This is with reference to my earlier letter under the above caption (March 30 [2004]). I had written in the earnest expectation that something positive would come out and there would be some progress towards ending the miseries of my family related to the disappearance of my niece, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, more than a year ago.
    But instead of arranging for the release of the illegally detained doctor, the [Pakistan] authorities have apparently opted to punish the remaining members (Dr. Aafia’s mother and elder sister Dr. Fawzia Siddiqui with her two children) for protesting against the injustice.
    After the publication of my March 30 [2004] letter, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s mother and sister (along with her two children) have apparently been put under [illegal] house-arrest and are not allowed to have any physical or telephonic contact even with their family members. After failing to talk to my younger sister (mother of Dr.
    Aafia Siddiqui) on the phone from Islamabad since March 30 till April 20 [2004], I rushed to Karachi and visited her house (140-E, Block-7, Gulshan-i-Iqbal) on April 22 [2004] only to find a big lock on the main gate of the house. I knocked on the gate for quite some time, first mildly, then strongly but there was no response.
    Then I contacted my sister’s next-door neighbour, who happens to be the younger brother of [Pakistan Army’s ex-Chief] Gen. Mirza Aslam Beg. The lady (Mrs. Beg) was kind enough to tell me that Mrs. Ismat Siddiqui and her daughter Dr. Fawzia were inside the house, but for some time they had not been coming out or responding to the doorbell.
    After trying to see my sister in vain from April 22 to 25 [2004], I returned to Islamabad. With this state of affairs, I doubt we are free citizens of a free country.
    S.H. FARUQI
    Sunday, 2 May 2004
    Islamabad, Pakistan

  2. united4justice

    @Andy

    apologies if there were things offensive or hurting in my previous comments in anger.

    A note on decision if some of your visitors would like to know:

    The judgment has many flaws but just to give you some idea:

    – It doesn’t prove anything regarding her affiliation with Al-Qaida which was the primary reason for her abduction.

    – It doesn’t discuss her abduction from Karachi in 2003 with here children and the feared death of her youngest daughter by the hands of kidnappers. There is still no clue for the other daughter.

    – The decision talks of her having some attack plans. No evidence quality was checked and if we look at this point in line with the point of her abduction from Karachi in 2003 , this turns out to be as true as “Iraq having WMDs”.

    All this is given in case background to create a fear among the reader about the accused without any solid proofs.

    -The jury has given decision against her for attacking US citizens and soldiers even though no fingerprints were found on the M-4 rifle and no proof of firing with M-4 riffle were found and presented by FBI.

    On principles the burden of proof lies with the prosecution or accusing party but here accused was found guilty because she could not prove herself innocent to the satisfaction of the jury.

  3. Yes, she has been treated terribly and disrespectfully. The charges against have seemed laughable from the beginning. The ability of the judge to frighten the jury in voting for the government and against Ms Aafia demonstrates just how a reign of fear has cowed a nation.
    I am very sorry as an American citizen for what has happened. Many of us want nothing more than for Ms Aafia to live in peace with her children. We will continue to speak out against her unfair trial.
    Thank you for sharing this information.

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