Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ACTION : Restore Visitation and Communication Rights to Dr Aafia Siddiqui

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Dear All,
Assalam O Alikum.
Here is a short note on our beloved sister Dr. Aafia Siddiqui [Daughter of the Nation]. Please read it and try to spread the message as far as you can. The team of Ashiyana Camp for the IDP's of Waziristan will be highly grateful to all of you for this huge favor.
Jazak ALLAH
Syed Adnan Ali Naqvi (s_adnan_ali_naqvi@yahoo.ca)
Mansoor Ahmed (mansoorahmed.aaj@gmail.com / mansoorahmed27@yahoo.com)
Syeda Faryal Zehra (faryal.zehra@gmail.com)
Aliya Imam Naqvi (aliya.imam@googlemail.com)
Muhammad Nadeem (nadem.mohd@hotmail.com)
Taimour Farhad (taimour.farhad@gmail.com)

24 - Hours online quries +92 - 333 - 342 6031 / +92 - 313 - 2798085.

Dr Aafia Sidiqui

Pakistani national Aafia Siddiqui, recently convicted in the US in a shocking miscarriage of justice has now been refused all contact with her family and is being held in effect under “incommunicado” detention. She is being denied letters, visits, phone calls or any reading material, on the grounds that it impacts “the security of the nation”.

Background

Dr Aafia Siddiqui is a Neuroscientist originally from Pakistan and from an educated family. She studied in the United States, gaining a PhD in 2001. She is the mother of three children, and is regarded as an intelligent, practising Muslim woman.

Following her disappearance in March 2003, along with her three children, Aafia is believed to have been held in secret prisons at the behest of the CIA, suffering torture and abuse - the full details of which will probably never be known. At the end of this ordeal, she was framed in a shocking miscarriage of justice and accused of the attempted murder of two US army personnel.

The US claim that she was “found” outside the residence of the Governor of Ghazni carring a handbag containing unsecured documents on a USB drive detailing wildly fantastic terrorism plans with a list of targets, and bags containing various toxic chemicals. Aafia testified during her trial that she was given the handbag and did not know the contents therein. She also alluded to the fact she had been forced to copy some documents whilst in secret detention, whilst categorically denying authoring other documents found in her possession.

It is claimed that whilst she was held in the police station, a US soldier placed a loaded M4 Rifle on the floor, from whence she allegedly grabbed the rifle, swore at them and fired two shots. It is claimed that one individual lunged for her, whilst another shot her in the upper body, thus saving the day. During her trial, Aafia vociferously denied shooting anyone; Aafia's fingerprints were not found on the rifle nor were any bullets found in the room. There was no trace of any gun residue from the M4 rifle. Ahmed Gul, the interpreter present, gave conflicting testimony to his colleague Robert Snyder, as to how Siddiqui fired the weapon. The bullet holes on the wall claimed by the prosecution to have been caused by the rifle were already there before any shooting, as was confirmed in a photograph of the room taken earlier in the week. Despite over 20 people being present in the crowded room, Aafia's alleged two shots did not hit a single person. Aafia was subsequently taken to the US prison at Bagram before being extradited to the US in August 2008.

Unfortunately for Aafia, the case was heard in the United States, where fear has such a grip of the nation that to be Muslim in custody is sufficient proof of one's guilt. After little under 12 hours of jury deliberations, Aafia was convicted on all counts, despite no conclusive evidence. With her sentencing scheduled for May, she faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. Her two youngest children remain missing, their whereabouts unknown to date.

Aafia has now been refused all contact with her family and is being held effectively under “incommunicado” detention. She is denied any meaningful communication, not being permitted letters, visits, phonecalls or any reading material, on the pretext of "the security of the nation”.

Under the Eighth Amendment to the US Bill of Rights, it states :- “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” This Eighth Amendment makes no reference to being able to weigh this inalienable right against the need for national security.

In relation to visits, it was stated in the case of Overton v. Bazzetta in 2003 that, though they may defer to the experience of prison officials in giving some restrictions to visits, that "We do not hold, and we do not imply, that any right to intimate association is altogether terminated by incarceration.”

Take Action

Send a letter, fax or email to the prison authorities demanding that they cease the harassment of Dr Aafia Siddiqui

Send a letter, fax or email to all the key contacts requesting not only that they cease this cruel and unusual punishment, but that they immediately review the irregularities in the trial and free Dr Aafia.

Key Contacts
Eric Holder,
Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Phone : 202-353-1555
Email : AskDoJ@usdoj.gov

MDC BROOKLYN
METROPOLITAN DETENTION CENTER
80 29TH STREET
BROOKLYN, NY 11232
Phone: 718-840-4200
Fax: 718-840-5001
E-mail address: EXECASSISTANT@BOP.GOV

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
PHONE 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside NYC)
FAX (212) 312-0700
Sample Letter

Dear ,

Dr Aafia Siddiqui (# 90279-054)

I am writing concerning Dr Aafia Siddiqui (# 90279-054), who is reportedly being denied access to reading materials, visits, phonecalls or any right to send or receive letters. This is particularly distressing given her fragile mental state and the ordeal that she has reportedly been subjected to over several years in US captivity.

Such actions, if true, would appear to be unlawful and and contrary to the spirit of the United States constitution, the Eight Amendment of which reads: .

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

The right to visitation was also confirmed in the Supreme Court, which though conceding that some restrictions may be permitted, held that it was not permitted to restrict this in totality. The Supreme Court stated that “We do not hold, and we do not imply, that any right to intimate association is altogether terminated by incarceration.”

I trust that you will immediately end these draconian restrictions on Dr Siddiqui's right to visitation and contact with her family, friends and supporters.

I look forward to your prompt and considered response.
Yours sincerely



__________________________________________

Justice for Aafia Coalition (JFAC)

Email: info@justiceforaafia.org
Web: http://www.justiceforaafia.org

Dr. Aafia Siddqui [Daughter of the nation]

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Assalam O Alikum,

We always try to write something about us, about the IDP's, about the Victims of the war on terror. I don;t know what is the result for all of those in your mind. ALLAH gives you ajer to make us remember in your prayers.

Today we are all friends, the team of the Ashiyana Camp, Adnan himself asked all of us to make efforts also for the daughter of the nation "Sister Aafia Siddiui"

Here are few of the details with the concern links as well as few letters in attachments. which can help you to understand the current situation and might we all of the Pakistani can do for our sister by our self withtout to care what Govt is doing or others institutions running.

We are the team of Ashiyana Camp, at on the behalf of our beloved brother Syed Adnan Ali Naqvi is requesting to all of the reciever of this email that please forward this email as much as you can ant atleast try to do small effort for our sister Aafia Siddiqui.

May ALLAH save us from all kind of the troubles and problems (Amen)
May ALLAH save our sister Aafia from all kind of the problems (Amen)

Jazak ALLAH
Syed Adnan Ali Naqvi
Mansoor Ahmed
Syeda Faryal Zehra
Aliya Imam
Taimour Farhad
Muhammad Nadeem

"All of the Orphans, widows & others from Ashiyana Camp for IDP's, Waziristan"


Here is the original message we received from the legal team of Sister Aafia.

Sunday 28 March 2010 is the 7th anniversary of the kidnapping of Aafia Siddiqui and her children. To commemorate this, the Justice for Aafia Coalition (JFAC) has been formed - an umbrella organisation, currently spanning four continents, which aims to unite and direct all individuals and organisations concerned for our sister and working for her release.
We all should be aware of the plight of our sister Aafia Siddiqui who last month was convicted of the attempted murder of US soldiers in Afghanistan whilst in custody. The hidden side of this story is the fact that Aafia had been missing since 2003 and claims that she was kidnapped with her three children by the Pakistani intelligence services, transferred to US custody and held in a series of secret prisons away from her children for five years during which time she was repeatedly raped, tortured and abused. Two of her children remain missing to this day.

Aafia's trial was also flawed in that there was no evidence of any gun residue from the rifle she is alleged to have shot, no trace of her fingerprints on the rifle, no bullet shells found in the room or bullet holes in the wall. The testimonies of the soldiers conflicted with each other and with their own earlier statements. Despite the prosecution admitting Aafia was not a member of al-Qaeda or linked to any terrorist group, she was for all intents and purposes, tried as such. Her sentencing is on 6 May - she faces spending the rest of her life in an American maximum security prison. Since her conviction, she has been denied access to phone calls, sending or receiving letters, or any visits, in the interests of ‘national security.’


AAFIA SIDDIQUI DAY


Sunday 28 March 2010 is the 7th anniversary of the kidnapping of Aafia and her children. To commemorate this and to highlight Aafia's case as symbolic of the brutality of the 'war on terror' with the aim of having her repatriated to Pakistan and launching an investigation into the whereabouts of her missing children, the Justice for Aafia Coalition (JFAC - www.justiceforaafia.org) has been formed - an umbrella organisation, currently spanning four continents, which aims to unite and direct all individuals and organisations concerned for our sister and working for her release. In an international day of protest, we aim to have events, demonstrations, letter-writing campaigns, khutbahs, etc in towns and cities all over the world in solidarity with Aafia on the one day - 28 March.

All it takes is for each person to do the following:

a) Organise an event (or screening) in your locality; rather than asking us to supply speakers, people could spend one hour reading up on her case thoroughly and presenting it to his community. JFAC will aim to provide you with the necessary information pack to deliver a presentation. If people educate themselves on the case and do the talk themselves, it is more empowering than just having an external speaker come. If you are interested in organising an event or hosting a related documentary screening, please email events@justiceforaafia.org . All events will be publicised on our website.

b) Attend the Aafia Siddiqui Solidarity March, from the Pakistani embassy to the US embassy, in London on Sunday March 28th, 2pm. Promote this and for those living outside London, organise coaches to bring people down.

c) Get 20 people from your community to send a letter to both your local paper and a national paper in the week beginning 22 March. The letters should be short, to the point and mention Aafia Siddiqui Day, the kidnapping and detention, missing children and the event. The individual must collect the letters, buy the postage and envelopes and post the letters. You have 20 days from today to get 19 letters (excluding the one you send yourself).

d) Get 20 people (doesn’t have to be the same 20) to send a letter to Aafia that day, from children in particular. Even though she is currently being denied mail, if the volume is enough, they may just let a few through.

f) An information leaflet, campaign pack and other resources will be shortly available, along with translations of the campaign materials into as many languages as we can. The aim is that anyone in the world can then just print off their particular language and distribute, thereby empowering them and decreasing dependency.

g) Approach your local mosque or Islamic Society to dedicate their khutbah on Friday 26 March to the case of Aafia Sddiqui. A khutbah template will soon be available for download.

There are many other projects in development and events are confirmed for UK, USA, Pakistan, Canada, Ireland, and Australia.

WRITE TO AAFIA

We encourage both those who have written to her in the past and those whom would like too for the first time to send her a card, or letter to show Dr. Aafia that she has your moral support. The address is:

AAFIA SIDDIQUI # 90279-054
MDC BROOKLYN
METROPOLITAN DETENTION CENTER
P.O. BOX 329002
BROOKLYN, NY 11232

Please do not discuss her legal case or similar issues, but focus on notes of moral support.

Please note that past experience with the MDC has been that even though she is entitled to get letters, they tend to not deliver long personal letters – preferably post cards or greeting cards.

Post cards do not require a return address.

END A MESSAGE OF SUPPORT TO HER FAMILY

Please remind Aafia’s family that they are not forgotten and that they have your moral support.

Letters for Aafia’s family can be emailed to support@justiceforaafia.org you can also email at To: maryam.hassan@justiceforaafia.org

For the further details please visit:
http://www.justiceforaafia.org