Dr Fauzia blames past, present govts for complicity in sister Aafia’s incarceration

Dr Fauzia blames

KARACHI: Dr Fauzia Siddiqui — the elder sister of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani doctor imprisoned in a United States jail — said the past and present governments of Pakistan are “fully complicit” in her sister’s years-long incarceration.

The doctor’s statement came in conversation with journalists at the Karachi airport after she returned from the US where she visited her jailed sister.

Dr Aafia, a Pakistani neuroscientist, was indicted by a New York federal district court in September 2008 on charges of attempted murder and assault, stemming from an incident during an interview with the US authorities in Ghazni, Afghanistan — charges that she denied.

After 18 months in detention, she was tried and convicted in early 2010 and sentenced to 86 years in prison. She has since been imprisoned in the US.

“Aafia was weaker than last time. She spoke about being given shocks to the head,” said Dr Fauzia, adding that her sister was also given a Bible and was asked to read it.

During their meeting at the jail, the doctor detailed, that both sisters kept screaming for three hours, as there was a glass barrier in between them.

“Last time the keys were lost and this time the phone was not working,” said Dr Fauzia, adding that after their meeting ended her sister was taken away.

Commenting further on Dr Aafia’s case, Dr Fauzia said that their lawyer Clive Stafford Smith had gone to Afghanistan for research on the case.

“The family that kept Aafia was also found,” she revealed.

Last week, Aafia’s lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, told Geo News that his client is still being sexually harassed continuously at a jail in Fort Worth, Texas, adding that a security guard raped her two weeks ago as punishment.

“Sexual abuse of Dr Aafia has not stopped so far,” he disclosed after he met her.

“She is being consistently subjected to physical harassment,” he repeated.

The lawyer said that he talked to Dr Aafia on the phone through a glass wall when he met her on Thursday and Friday. He added that the phone was not working properly, hence, they had to shout to communicate. He complained to the jail authorities, and another phone was provided after two days.