A Statement from the Asian Human Rights Commission – PAKISTAN: The government must inform the public about the health and conditions of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui who is imprisoned in the USA

AHRC-STM-169-2011, November 4, 2011 – The Asian Human Rights Commission has published several statements on the imprisonment of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, the American-educated Pakistani cognitive neuroscientist who was convicted and imprisoned for 86 years on the charge of assault with intent to murder her U.S. interrogators in Afghanistan. See PAKISTAN/USA: A lady doctor remains missing with her three children five years after her arrest. We have now received information from Dr. Siddiqui’s sister that she has now undergone a forced abortion while in detention and was hemorrhaging seriously.  In the email received from her younger sister, Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui, she reported that:

“I have been informed that Aafia is pregnant and as I am typing she has undergone forced abortion, and was hemorrhaging profusely as of yesterday (November 2). I was informed by a phone call in witness of prison warden……another three days either she dies or survives leaving us no proof of the repeated humiliation”.

This message is yet to be confirmed by an independent and reliable source. She mailed this message to one of the most active news forums, SPN, which has created a panic in the country and people are worried about her health. Dr. Aafia’s case has seen the support of many people and they have shown their anger and agitated many months against her disappearance for five months, the subsequent trial in the USA and her sentence of 86 years. In view of the suffering she has undergone the people are demanding her unconditional release.

If the government of Pakistan does not come out to clarify the news about her alleged forced abortion and pregnancy in custody there is the serious risk that an atmosphere of rumours will be generated by the silence. If this happens it could very quickly run out of control and the government will face violent agitation as the religious militant groups will not pass up any chance to strike again.

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is a citizen of Pakistan. Besides her past activities, which are yet to be proved, the government has the responsibility for her care and welfare. The government of Pakistan and Pakistani embassy in USA should immediately issue a statement clarifying the information about her forced pregnancy and abortion during custody and inform the people of Pakistan about her health.
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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

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