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Fowzia asks govt to take action on media report of abuse to Aafia

Karachi: Aafia Movement Pakistan leader and noted neurophysician of the country Dr Fowzia Siddiqui has expressed deep concern on a media report about alleged physical and sexual abuse of Dr Aafia Siddiqui in a US prison and demanded from the government of Pakistan to take serious notice of the issue.
In a statement here Wednesday, Dr Fowzia said as per media reports, Pakistan’s counsel general in Houston, United States of America, Aisha Farooqui has prepared a confidential report of her recent visit to Dr Aafia Siddiqui, jailed in the Federal Medical Center in Carswell, and claimed that Aafia was subjected to physical and sexual abuse during her ongoing detention.
Dr Fowzia said that as per the media reports, the Pakistani consul general in Houston has recommend diplomatic authorities to take up the case at the highest levels to find a way for her repatriation so that she can serve her remaining sentence in Pakistan, where her modesty and privacy would not be interfered with.
The report presents details of the miserable state of Aafia, who is being detained, and details of her struggles to protect her dignity, integrity and respect paint a different picture altogether.
The report recommends that a detailed note be sent to the US Department of Justice for an inquiry into the allegations of physical and sexual abuse Aafia spoke of.CG Farooqui also suggested a formal request to be made to the US Department of Justice to restrict male staff members into her unit and to ensure her safety.
Aafia has accused the male staffer of urinating on her possessions.
“Explore a legal mechanism for her repatriation to Pakistan to complete her sentence in Pakistan, where at least she would be safe and would be able to meet her mother and children, who she has not met in almost eight years,” the report further recommends.
During her two-hour meeting, Farooqui stated, she saw Dr Aafia’s nervousness and phobias, and fear of everything and everyone at the facility. It was clear that she was afraid of the jail staff, their violations of her privacy, repeatedly confiscation of her things, the rampant threat of physical and sexual abuse and institutionalised rape and bisexuality that she claimed existed at the FMC Carswell.
“For a practising Muslim woman to be incarcerated in a facility where there was an existential threat of being raped and sexually abused repeatedly is an untenable situation and should not be allowed to continue. In spite of all this, I found Dr Aafia determined, hopeful and full of faith in Allah and Pakistani people that there will be help sent for their daughter specially and that sooner rather than later she would get out of the prison,” CG Farooqui wrote in the report.
The report presents details of the miserable state of Aafia, who is being detained, and details of her struggles to protect her dignity, integrity and respect paint a different picture altogether.
The report recommends that a detailed note be sent to the US Department of Justice for an inquiry into the allegations of physical and sexual abuse Aafia spoke of.CG Farooqui also suggested a formal request to be made to the US Department of Justice to restrict male staff members into her unit and to ensure her safety.
Aafia also alleged that jail authorities confiscated her belongings. Her phone calls to family members were recorded and monitored. When asked why she did not call her mother in Karachi, Aafia said she didn’t feel comfortable talking to her in the presence of the jail staff. Aafia also expressed mistrust that jail authorities dialed inaccurate phone numbers on purpose. She suspected that it wasn’t her mother or family on the other end of the line.
However, Dr Fowzia has demanded of the caretaker government of Pakistan to communicate with the US authorities on official level and sternly protest over the abuse of Dr Aafia Siddiqui in the jail. She also appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar to take a suo moto notice of the issue and ensure protection of the basic human rights of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who is a bonafide citizen of Pakistan, saying abuse of a Pakistani woman in a foreign jail is a disgrace of whole nation.

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