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(Sent with consideration for Dr. Aafia's children, your children, Pakistani children, American children and children around the world who need peace and justice.)
Dear President Obama,
A leader who knows the Rule of Law:
What an unbelievable, unjust and cruel sentence has now been added to the suspicious arrest, charge and kangaroo trial of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui.
What kind of legacy is being left by our US administration and all involved in this case - including that left by a Judge Richard Berman - who's conduct has been anything but honorable in this case?
Since you probably by now know the details - and/or will be receiving them multiple times - I will skip most elaborations.
Note that Dr. Siddiqui was detained in a facility used by the American government to hold persons suspected of being agents of Al Qaida.
Find out who may be guilty of planting the crazy evidence in her bag to begin with as I'm sure you could find out if anyone is able to do so. Why not go to the top and find that "someone" who has been known to do or direct similar acts of deceit. (Many of our American US military/FBI/CIA and contractors officials over this entire "war on terror" have records of the same many miles long.)
Although she has testified in open court about her detention in Bagram it has never been properly explained by the FBI. Dr. Aafia and her family - as well as all concerned Americans and Pakistanis - need a FULL explanation.
There are many discrepancies with the case as put forward by this our (and your) American government officials. They have never been able to properly explain how a woman, weakened by five years of imprisonment and mistreatment - and between 90-100 pounds - was able to wrestle a weapon away from a fully-trained soldier. No Americans were actually injured in the incident but they found it necessary to shoot her.
Dr. Siddique was shot during the incident and was not given the necessary medical treatment for some months. Where is the humane and truthful explanation for this?
Why did we hear about these events when the Asian Human Rights Commission issued its first Urgent Appeal on July 24, 2008 yet not before by our own governments? Why did the FBI wait until after the publication of this appeal on July 24, 2008 to announce that she had been arrested on July 17, 2008? Finally, why have there been no explanations as to her whereabouts after she was arrested in March 2003? Where is the actual, factual and complete justification for this silence?
Why were the two returned children only found after much international protest raised the issue? Where is the third? How can your government and military leaders have allowed the third missing child to be missing so long without any written explanation? What is your explanation now? We need answers.
Why has Aafia been denied contact with members of her family and her lawyers? Why was Aafia kept in a prison in Texas known to have a dark history of mistreatment of women including rape?
Such ongoing silence, mistreatment and the complete lack of any reasonable or scientific evidence for her indictment, the questionable behavior of the judge during the trial and more are without conscience.
Therefore I urge President Obama to grant her amnesty. We are longing to see and know such a tangible indication that such an entity as justice still exists in our land. Finally, we need such a response to Dr. Aafia's case to demonstrate that a Muslim can indeed be treated fairly in these United States.
I also urge President Zadari to to see that his American counterpart grants
Dr. Siddiqui the amnesty she deserves. Such foundational response to these injustices are urgently needed. Our citizens in both America and Pakistan are in great need of peace between our peoples. Such an act of amnesty and the push by you for the same would go a long way to help heal the growing breaches and hostilities.
The results of the so-called "civilian trial" has been anything but civil and has added more miles of anger from your citizens toward Americans.
There's only one saving grace and help in response to the sentencing, Mr. Presidents: See that Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is PARDONED. We all must needs consider our legacies each and every day. Someday, when your children and grandchildren ask you about this case -- and they most certainly will -- then at least when they bring up Dr. Aafia, maybe you will be able look them in the eyes with clearer consciences.
Pardoning Aafia may be one way to usher in some much needed integrity in this deceitful "war on terror" which has become so largely a "war on the innocent" in the name of oil, power, sovereign nation-occupation and assumption of superiority.
May freeing Dr. Aafia at last allow you to hold your heads just a little higher and your hearts/minds a little freer.
Connie Lynn Nash
Mother, Writer, Human Rights Specialist
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