Sakeena Suliman – Cii News | 31 March 2014/29 Jumadal Ula 1435
Aafia Siddiqui met with her brother for the first time in two years. She was upset about the promises made so far and she asked how much longer. He was more devastated and discouraged at the fruitless efforts than she was.
Yet older, broken down, bruised, scarred – emotionally and physically – with no front teeth, Aafia Siddiqui offered her brother words of encouragement. “You have to have faith, you have to have faith in Allah SWT and you have to have faith in humanity, in man. I have not lost my faith and I know that Allah is going to put the courage into my people, into my Ummah and Inshaallah I will be released once they stand up for that and they realise that it is not just my test. Everyone who comes here has to be tested.”
Cii Radio spoke to Aafia’s sister, Fauzia Siddiqui about the eleventh anniversary of her incarceration which just passed – on a much quieter note than it did in 2013.
“Despite the way she was physically, spiritually Allah SWT has kept her alive and in some kind of sanity despite being in solitary confinement. Even to have that much sanity it shows Divine intervention. That in itself is a miracle,” said Fauzia about Aafia’s disposition.
One of the reasons for the gap in these visits is the prison’s policy of subjecting Aafia to an invasive body cavity strip search after each visit explains a family statement on the aafiamovement.com site. “Officially they are making sure her brother isn’t inserting contraband into her bodily orifices” – visits at the Carslwell Federal Medical Centre are conducted at either side of a glass screen with four armed guards present and video cameras capturing the visit.
Aafia is disappointed by the lack of sincerity among those – the new elected Pakistani government – who have claimed to officially represent her case and their lack of success with even modest improvements in her conditions. Despite this she still retains her faith and the hope that a positive outcome is still possible.
The end of March of 2014 counts as Aafia’s 11th year of unlawful incarceration at the psychiatric facility where “they do human testing and use humans as guinea pigs”. The beginning of the second decade of her 86 year sentence in solitary confinement at the prison.
Despite 40 international rights organisations supporting her release, and much evidence being brought to light of her innocence, nothing is being done. Questions are not being asked by the powers that be. The US government continues to turn a blind eye to gross misconduct and violations against Aafia and other wrongfully accused prisoners and refuses to co-operate in establishing legal proof of her detention.
“Aafia was leaving for Islamabad from Karachi but she never got to Islamabad and disappeared before she got there. Now after the investigation it shows that she was picked up from the streets of Karachi on her way to the airport. And witnesses and the person who kidnapped her, his statement has also been released by the international justice network, so a lot of things that would have been million dollar questions about five years ago, now are pretty clear. And all the investigation that has come out shows Aafia to be more innocent than even previously thought,” said Fauzia.