Wednesday, March 30, 2011
NEWS RELEASE 8th Anniversary of Aafia Siddiqui's Disappearance
Fowzia Siddiqui, sister of Aafia Siddiqui, lights earthenware lamps with activists of Pasban at an event held to pay homage to victims of quake-hit Japan, in Karachi on March 22, 2011. More than 21,000 people are confirmed dead or listed as missing after a 9.0-magnitude quake struck off Japan's northeastern coast in March 11, unleashing a giant tsunami that swept away entire towns. (NOTE to reporters: often this campaign reaches out to show solidarity and concern with other peoples, victims & their family, and peace with justice groups inside and outside Pakistan)
Bruce Kent, Vice President of Pax Christi and an ardent supporter of the campaign (Justice for Aafia-JFAC) noted:
“It is, in a cruel world, one of the cruellest stories I have ever heard. If we can’t do much more, at least we must not ever keep quiet. Persistent voices do get heard. There is always hope - the Mandela release is proof of that; but how many times before it happened I thought to myself that his case was hopeless. I was wrong.”
(reposted on top from the following announcement)
Campaigners Rally at Pakistan and US Embassies on 8th Anniversary of Aafia Siddiqui's Disappearance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29 2011
Justice for Aafia Coalition (JFAC)
LONDON – 30 March 2011 marks the eighth anniversary of the abduction of Pakistani national, Dr Aafia Siddiqui and her three children, the youngest of whom remains missing.
In protest of her ongoing detention, demonstrators in London will congregate at the Pakistan Embassy, London and proceed as part of a symbolic mock-funeral procession, marking the death of US Justice and Pakistan’s Honour. Protestors will march through central London and conclude with a rally outside the US embassy, London, in solidarity with Aafia Siddiqui and her family and calling for her urgent release and repatriation to Pakistan. Prominent speakers will address the rally, including barrister and Professor of Law Bill Bowring, playwright Victoria Brittain, representatives from the Haldane Law Society, Stop the War Coalition, Muslim Council of Britain, Islamic Human Rights Commission, MPAC, HTB, JFAC and Imams respected in the Muslim community.
Baroness Sarah Ludford, Liberal Democrat European Justice and Human Rights spokesperson, commented:
“This occasion represents a great opportunity not only to raise awareness of Aafia’s situation and demonstrate our solidarity with her, but also to expose the shocking treatment by the United States of certain suspects and prisoners. I utterly condemn the secret abduction and detention of any person and deplore the denial of the basic right to a fair trial. As a champion of democracy, liberty and the rule of law the US must uphold these principles in its treatment of prisoners. There can be no denial of human rights for these are absolute and untouchable."
Black Wednesday – JFAC Rally
34-36 Lowndes Square, London SW1X 9JN
Procession Departs - 5.30pm
Rally – US Embassy, Grovesnor Square, London
Notes for editor:
1. The Justice for Aafia Coalition is an umbrella body for a number of organizations, groups, and activists established in February 2010 to campaign for the release and return of Aafia Siddiqui and for the opening of a full investigation into the circumstances of her detention and the whereabouts of her children.
2. Siddiqui’s lawyers maintain that she was abducted by the Pakistani authorities along with her three children in 2003 and rendered to Afghanistan where she was detained by American forces for over five years. A report released by the International Justice Network provided testimony from senior Pakistani intelligence officials corroborating Siddiqui’s account. Dr Aafia claims she was abused, raped and tortured throughout her detention. She was convicted of allegedly firing on US soldiers while in custody in what appears to have been a grave miscarriage of justice in February 2010.
3. Following her sentencing of 86 years in September 2010, Siddiqui is currently held in FMC Carswell, Texas, a facility notoriously known as the ‘hospital of horrors’, infamous for its abusive treatment of female inmates. She has been denied any contact with her family or lawyers for months and has been deprived of the right to appoint counsel of her choosing.
4. Dr Siddiqui’s youngest child, 6 months old at the time of his disappearance in 2003, remains unaccounted for.
5. For full details of Aafia Siddiqui’s case, please CLICK here
Additional notes to reporters/editors/peacethrujustice activists:
If there are Pakistani-Americans and Americans of ALL backgrounds who have the conscience and courage to join other socially committed Muslims and non-Muslims for a demonstration scheduled April 9th at 10 am in Ft. Worth, Texas (where Aafia is currently being held in solitary confinement) - please find a way to join others who care to non-violently protest GRAVE alarming injustices to Dr. Aafia - for more information please go to freeaafia.org
Also please read this article if you haven't "Barbaric 86-year Sentence for Aafia Siddiqui" here
Posted by CN at 11:19 AM