Friday, February 24, 2012
Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui, in Soweto, on an international tour
Plea to aid sister jailed in US for 86 years
February 24 2012 at 11:40am
By Yusuf Omar
INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS IOL.CO.ZA
Dr Fowzia Siddiqui, in Soweto, is on an international tour to raise awareness about her sister, Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who has already served 3 251 days in a US prison. Photo: Dumisani Sibeko
We meet at the Dlamini mosque in Soweto, an unlikely first stop for neurologist Dr Fowzia Siddiqui’s international tour to raise awareness about the plight of her US-imprisoned sister, Aafia Siddiqui.
Today marks 3 251 days since Aafia, an American-educated Pakistani woman, was incarcerated for assault with intent to murder her US interrogators while she was being detained in Afghanistan.
She is serving an 86-year sentence in solitary confinement in the US, and is believed to have cancer.
Fowzia’s left arm is in a cast, broken last week in Pakistan when she says the vehicle she was travelling in was attacked by policemen with batons. She was on her way to a march at the US embassy with tens of thousands of people.
She notices a bundle of Wikipedia printouts with her sister’s name on them in my hand. “If you are going to believe that stuff, then the interview is cancelled,” she said, stern-faced.
Nine years in the media spotlight has made her sceptical of the pens and flashing lights. “But if you want the truth, listen to me,” she said.
Aafia is commonly cited as a neuro-scientist, but her sister said she had a doctorate in education. “She didn’t even major in biology or physics. They just want to make her look scary and push this terrorist idea.”
Supporters of the campaign believe she is a 9/11 pawn, framed on terrorism charges and innocent on all accounts. Others call her a dangerous al-Qaeda member.
For the first five years of her sister being in prison, Fowzia said she wrote letters to her every day. “The US Embassy would have a closetful by now.”
Fowzia said she and her family had received death threats, but she was tired of being unheard.
“If she was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman, the world would be standing… How can she be imprisoned for 86 years? She didn’t kill anyone.”
The Siddiqui family have one more appeal left against the sentence. “We will use it when we think the time is right, when enough support has emerged and when we can clarify all the misconceptions.”
Fowzia, who said she would continue the fight to free her sister for the rest of her life, will take the campaign to the UK next. - The Star
To learn more plz go to freeaafia.org and to International Justice Network (where Tina Foster has been working hard behind the scenes to find out whatever happened to Aafia's missing baby along with other issues.) See "Just the Facts" at both websites and you will also find plenty if you search for oneheartforpeace and nomorecrusades with Aafia Siddiqui in the search topic.
Posted by CN at 2:10 PM