Sunday, February 7, 2010

Pakistan National Observes Hunger Strike to protest verdict of Dr. Siddiqui

Pakistan national observes hunger strike to demand Dr. Aafia’s release

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NEW YORK, Feb. 6 (APP): A young Pakistani man has gone on hunger strike in front of the UN building to protest the conviction of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a neuroscientist, and demand her release. With Pakistan’s flag on his side, Muhammad Aamish, a graduate of New York’s Queens College, began his protest on Friday, squatting in a small park named after Ralph Bunch, a former UN under-secretary-general.

A New York jury on Wednesday found Dr. Siddiqui guilty on seven counts for allegedly shooting at US interrogators in Afghanistan in July 2008. She faces life imprisonment at her sentencing on May 6.

Aamish called the jury’s verdict “biased”, and told reporters he would continue his hunger strike until Dr. Siddiqui was released or an assurance was given to him that she would be set free.

He said he had chosen to demonstrate in front of the United Nations to focus the attention of international community to Dr. Siddiqui’s case in an effort to secure justice for her.

Asked what would be his course of action if police removed him form his spot, Aamish said he was exercising his constitutional right to stage a protest and he was doing so peacefully. “I have done nothing wrong,” he added.

Similar longer article:

Dr. Siddiqui

Neuroscientist, Dr. Afia Siddiqui has been met with many protests worldwide. A New Yorker of Pakistani descent is protesting by going on a hunger strike in front of the UN building.

Muhammad Aamish, a graduate of New York's Queens College, began his protest on Friday in the Ralph Bunche park, named after an American educator, political scientist, and United Nations mediator. Aamish called the jury's verdict "biased", and told reporters he would continue his hunger strike until Dr. Siddiqui is released or an assurance is given to him that she will be released.

There have been many peaceful protests throughout Dr. Siddiqui's native country Pakistan condemning the jury's decision to convict Dr. Siddiqui. Many more protests are planned by the youth groups of Pakistan in an effort to secure her release.

Many who are unable to protest in person are doing so using Internet media, such as Facebook.

Many in Pakistan believe that the verdict was based upon hate and fear rather than the actual facts of the case.

Dr. Siddiqui is accused of opening fire at her US captors in Afghanistan while in custody by picking up a M4 rifle from a police station floor. She was shot by the U.S soldier during the incident.

Many are questioning Dr. Siddiqui's ability to even pick up the M4 rifle let alone her shooting it in the presence of three U.S. Soldiers. She barely weighs 90 pounds.

In a telephonic conversation with Umar from Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad said, "I always thought that the U.S. Justice system was fair but the wrongful conviction of Afia Siddiqui despite lack of evidence has proved me wrong."

Related article:

Jury convicts MIT graduate of attempted murder despite lack of evidence

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