Home NewsAsia Another lonely Ramadan in jail for Aafia Siddiqui

Another lonely Ramadan in jail for Aafia Siddiqui

by Zahid Jadwat

Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui.


Sexual abuse, torture and a plot to kill her. The concocted story by the United States government has ensured Aafia Siddiqui’s decades-long incarceration. But her lawyer now says justice may be on the horizon.

Speaking in an interview on Salaamedia. Clive Stafford Smith, lawyer for the Pakistani neuroscientist, said he would soon be able to disprove the longstanding US narrative that placed her behind bars.

In 2010, she was sentenced to 86 years in prison for the attempted murder of US agents and military officers in Afghanistan. Now, her lawyer says she was tortured to the point where she became a “huge embarrassment” to the US and Pakistan.

“At that point, she was a huge embarrassment for both the United States and Pakistan. There were a number of people who just wanted her dead. We will be able to show in court that there were plans simply to kill her and her son Ahmed,” he said.


SMread: ‘JW has lost control’ – Taps run dry in Johannesburg

Foiled murder

Smith said the only reason she survived an attempt on her life more than a decade ago was the intervention of an Afghani. A certain Mohammed Ajmal Mohammedy, he said, “stood between her and the guns and prevented her from being murdered”.

He claimed to have learnt the true story from witnesses he met on a recent trip to Afghanistan. He was there to investigate and get to the bottom of her prolonged incarceration.

While confident that progress was being made, he said “it doesn’t yet translate into reducing Aafia’s torment”. In the meantime, efforts will be made to alleviate her plight while she spends another Ramadan behind bars.

Among the measures sought by Smith are bi-weekly visits for the purpose of “human contact”, a visit by a pair of doctors and weekly visits from an Imam.

While these need to be negotiated with the bosses of the FMC Carswell prison in Texas, US, the last was proving especially difficult.

“At the moment, the prison is insisting it should be done by video which, of course, is ridiculous. She hasn’t had a religious advisor other than this Christian chap who advised us to get an Imam in. I hope that will alleviate her suffering a bit.”

He further alleged his client had been raped twice and faced sexual abuse “all the time” during her lonely time in jail. “We’re pressing to get her moved to a less uncivilised prison, but that’s taking time,” he said.

Related Videos