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Mother expresses fear about Dr Aafia

Karachi: Sharing the surveillance tape of a prisoner, Steffey, in US custody, who was stripped naked in a jail cell by seven deputies, Dr Aafia’s mother, Ismat Siddiqui, appealed to the government to secure her daughter’s release, saying that she was undergoing similar kind of torture and assault by US authorities.

Addressing a press conference at Dr Aafia’s residence here, Ismat Siddiqui termed the strip search of a female prisoner an outrageous act by US authorities, saying that she feared her daughter Dr Aafia might have been treated similarly. “The thought of what she may have gone through in these past years, after being shot, beaten, shackled and stripped, tears my heart apart. The government is well aware of the conditions she is being detained in, and should ensure her early repatriation,” said Siddiqui who was accompanied by her daughter Dr Fowzia Siddiqui and representatives of Human Rights Network.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr Fowzia said that since the charges against her younger sister had not been proved over these five years, there was no reason for US authorities to detain her.

When the family was asked about recent claims made by Dr Aafia’s ex-husband, Dr Amjad, they refused to comment, saying: “They did not wish to make their personal matters public and their priority right now is Dr Aafia’s repatriation to Pakistan”.
Source: The News
Date:2/22/2009

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