LAHORE, Aug 5: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said on Tuesday the US had finally admitted custody of Dr Afia Siddiqi and “this is one of the most brutal cases of suppression of individual freedom”.
In a statement here, the commission claimed that public pressure had at last compelled the United States to admit that Dr Afia was in its custody. While Pakistan government had belatedly begun to admit that it had some responsibility towards Dr Afia, the HRCP said, it had to explain as to who had been detaining her and from where she was picked up along with her three children in 2003.
“Saying that she had been taken into custody only on July 21, 2008 is a white lie. And so is the claim that she had hidden herself since 2003”.
Dr Afia’s case was a reminder of the grave injustice done to many Pakistanis in US detentions in Bagram (Afghanistan), Guanta-namo Bay in Cuba and elsewhere.
Reminding the government of its duty to trace all people who are reported missing, the HRCP also calls upon the civil society and human rights organisations to make concerted efforts for the release of all missing persons and ensure that Dr Afia gets justice that has long been denied to her.