Prisoner 650, Dr. Afia Siddiqui missing since 2003
A few days back the Asian Human Rights Commission issued an urgent press release about a Karachiite who has been missing since 2003. Dr. Afia Siddiqui left her mother’s house in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Karachi along with her three children, in a Metro-cab on March 30, 2003 to catch a flight for Rawalpindi, but never reached the airport. The press reports claimed that Dr. Afia had been picked-up by Pakistani intelligence agencies while on her way to the airport and initial reports suggested that she was handed over to the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). At the time of her arrest she was 30 years and the mother of three sons the oldest of which was four and the youngest only one month.
A few days later an American news channel, NBC, reported that Afia had been arrested in Pakistan on suspicion of facilitating money transfers for terror networks of Osama Bin Laden. The mother of the victim, Mrs. Ismat (who has since passed away) termed the NBC report absurd. She went on to say that Dr. Afia is a neurological scientist and has been living with her husband, Amjad, in the USA for several years.
Whilst Dr. Afia’s whereabouts remain unknown, there are reports of a woman called ‘Prisoner 650′ is being detained in Afghanistan’s Bagram prison and that she has been tortured to the point where she has lost her mind. Britain’s Lord Nazeer Ahmed, (of the House of Lords), asked questions in the House about the condition of Prisoner 650 who, according to him is physically tortured and continuously raped by the officers at prison. Lord Nazeer has also submitted that Prisoner 650 has no separate toilet facilities and has to attend to her bathing and movements in full view of the other prisoners. There are strong reports that this Prisoner 650 is the same Dr. Afia Siddiqui from Karachi and she is also listed in the hundreds of missing persons in Pakistan
NewsLine while doing a story in 2003 – Mysterious Cover-up Mazhar Abbass reports that
Surprisingly there has been no official report registered with the police about Afia’s disappearance which explains why Afia’s mother wanted to avoid going public. The police, meanwhile, is doing nothing to trace Afia. “We have no knowledge about this case nor has anyone contacted me,” said Sindh police chief, Syed Kamal Shah. Ismat Siddiqui, however, claims that she has spoken to high police officials, including Shah, about her daughter’s disappearance. A week after the incident, Mrs. Siddiqui alleges that an intelligence agency official came to her house and warned her not to make an issue out of her daughter’s disappearance and threatened her with dire consequences.
Daily Times gives a detailed account of her mysterious disappearance in 2004 – The strange story of Aafia Siddiqui
… the FBI would make its most devastating claim against Siddiqui. It was still dark on the morning of March 1, 2003, when Pakistani authorities arrested Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a known September 11 mastermind, at a Karachi safe house. The arrest made news around the world. It also presaged the extraordinary vanishing act of Aafia Siddiqui and her three small children.” It seems Khalid Sheikh Mohammed gave up Aafia’s name as being a major Al Qaeda operative.” However, one of her defenders says Siddiqui ’s identity was likely stolen. “Aafia was, I think, probably a pretty naive and trusting person and my guess is it would be pretty easy for somebody who wanted to steal an identity to just steal it.” About a month after his capture in the spring of 2003, she disappeared.
What can you do?
- Sign the Asian Human Rights Commission’s Urgent letter of Appeal which will send an email to Bush, Karzai, Gilani, Farooq Naek & Rehman Malik
- Sign the online petition for her release
- Join the two groups in Facebook which are participating in raising awareness for her release here and here
- Lastly simply help out by spreading the word by email & SMS to all your contacts
Other links to read up:
- Adnan Siddiqui – These coward and fascist liberals
- PkPolitics – Appeal for the Release of Dr. Afia Siddiqui & Her 3 Children
- Teeth Maestro – Missing Pakistani – Dr. Afia Siddiqui – Prisoner 650