Where has Dr. Aafia Siddiqui been for the past five years? And what’s been happening to her?
“On August 5, US newspapers carried the story of the capture of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman who was trained in neuroscience here in the United States. Typical of the stories was this one in the NY Times. The report was fairly neutral, but there were some gaps in the coverage which seemed a little puzzling. Dr. Siddiqui was brought back to the US and charged in a New York federal district court for the crime of shooting at FBI agents. There was no other terrorism related charge, yet she was identified as someone who worked closely with Al Qaeda. Rather curious, don’t you think?
“‘Ridley has been running a campaign called Cage Prisoner for the release of a mysterious female prisoner who has been held at the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan in total isolation and regularly tortured for five years.
“‘The unknown female prisoner, known as the Prisoner No. 650 or the Grey Lady of Bagram, was brought to the world attention after Ridley read about the woman in a book by fellow Briton Moazzam Begg, a former Gitmo and Bagram prisoner. In his book, Enemy Combatant, Beg talks of a woman’s endless screams for help as she was tortured. Beg first thought he was imagining his wife’s screams.
“‘”We now know the screams came from a woman who has been held in Bagram for some years. And she is Prisoner No. 650,” Ridley disclosed at a recent Press conference in Pakistan.
“‘And I strongly suspect that Prisoner No. 650 is none other than Dr Aafia Siddiqui. It is quite possible that her captors decided to end her isolation after the Pakistani Press and activists like Yvonne Ridley began increasingly talking about the Prisoner No. 650 and how she was tortured and abused physically, mentally and sexually for the past four years.'”
A New Low, Cab Drollery, August 17, 2008 (via)
A new low does not begin to describe five years of torture under the aegis of the United States. What the hell is going on here? Please read the whole post and spread the word about this. My hands are shaking too much to write more about it.
Update 091808: Aafia Siddiqui’s Son has been detained, but no one know what happened to him for the past three years in Afghanistan either. This situation gets more disturbing with every new piece of information, but we need to know how bad it was and punish whoever is responsible, which might be the United States government.
Update 111808: Pakistani woman called mentally unfit for U.S. trial because she was tortured for five years.