London 5th February 2010 – Last Wednesday, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a scientist extradited from Pakistan to the US in 2008, was convicted of attempted murder for allegedly shooting at US officers during an interrogation in Afghanistan.
She may face life imprisonment. In March 2003, Dr. Aafia disappeared with her 3 young children while visiting her mother in Karachi and it is widely suspected that she was abducted by Pakistani Intelligence and handed over to the American FBI. Her lawyers and human rights organisations believe that she was then held for many years at the US detention facility in Bagram, Afghanistan where she was tortured to such a level that she lost her mind. Two of her children remain missing.
The verdict followed a sham trial where the prosecution provided no forensic evidence, prosecution witnesses provided contradictory evidence, and where prosecution lawyers presented a sensationalist, fear-mongering case hinged upon alleged involvement in terrorism while Dr. Aafia was on trial for attempted murder. Her lawyer, Elaine Sharp, said, "This verdict is based on fear, not on fact."
In response to the verdict and struggling pathetically to express any criticism of its US master and so obviously out-of step with the anger raging amongst the masses of Pakistan and the Muslim world, the best the Zardari government could do was to issue a feeble worded statement that said, “We are dismayed over the unexpected verdict of the jury in Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s case”.
Dr. Nazreen Nawaz, Women’s Media Representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain said, “The case of Dr. Aafia, should be remembered as an indictment of the most heinous and inhumane face of Western style justice. This was a ‘kangaroo court’ and ‘circus of a trial’ aimed primarily at protecting the US government from embarrassment due to the horrendous ordeal suffered by this young mother at the hands of its own soldiers. It seems that ‘the truth’ is simply an inconvenience in the path of the US system saving face. Dr. Aafia should stick in the gut of the U.S. as the legacy of their brutality over Muslims and their countries in the name of the ‘War on Terror’. How dare they accuse Islam of oppressing women while having meted out this medieval treatment of Dr. Aafia?”
“The sham of US justice is nothing new. Its CV includes Abu Ghraib, Guantanomo, torture, extraordinary rendition without due process, and detention without charge. Western style democracies appear to be free to kidnap, incarcerate and torture with impunity with no recourse. This case simply re-confirms what is already known the world over – that under US democracy, terms such as justice, due process, innocent till proven guilty, rule of law, and human rights are hollow words, used, abused, and discarded on a whim rather than rights that have real value to humanity. It is US democracy that should be on trial here, not Dr. Aafia.”
“The Zardari government’s complicity in the horrific treatment of this Muslim woman is criminal. How shameful that it has handed over the sovereignty of its judicial process to a foreign power in exchange for financial support. What kind of leadership is willing to barter the honour of one of its daughters for a fist full of dollars? How could it accept for one of its own citizens to be extradited to the US and tried in a kangaroo American court with no questions asked? Truly, betrayal has been the story of these Muslim rulers; cowardice their legacy. They are immune to the sufferings, tears and pain of their people in their senseless struggle to maintain power and personal fortunes.”
“The case of Aafia Siddiqui surely reflects more than ever the need for the establishment of the Khilafah state. Muslim women yearn daily for this sincere Islamic leadership that will guard their honour, return their rights, remove their state of fear and establish security in their lands. They call for a state that will wipe away their misery, their pain, their tears of shame and herald a new dawn of hope, strength and justice to the Muslim Ummah. It will be a state that will present to the world the true appreciation of human life, human dignity, and the rights of the human being.”