Senators’ statements shock Dr Aafia’s family

Staff report

ISLAMABAD: Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s sister Dr Fouzia Siddiqui on Friday expressed shock over Pakistani senators (who visited Aafia) statements that she was “quite happy” in US custody.

Fouzia was addressing a press conference arranged by Defence of Human Rights (HDR) at Rawalpindi Islamabad Press Club camp office. “How could be a person happy after five years of detention and torture?” Fouzia questioned.

She said her brother who visited Aafia at the Carswell Psychiatric Centre, Texas on October 12, had told her that Aafia was brought in handcuffs and chains to meet him. Quoting her brother, Fouzia said she was frail and bent after years of physical and mental torture and sexual assaults. “Aafia has no insight to the extent of allegations against her … she was paranoid and at times delusional,” said Fouzia. “I have videotapes provided by the inmates of Aafia that how she was physically tortured and abused during different searches conducted by the Psychiatric Centre,” she added.

She said Aafia was so tired of the torture and abuse that she had requested the facility authorities not to put her on DNR (artificial respiratory system) and let her die. “Putting, on artificial respiratory system, once saved her life, when she became unconscious during torture,” she said.

Though Fouzia was hopeful of the government’s help, she was not satisfied with its ongoing efforts for release of Aafia. “If the government sincerely exploits different treaties signed by both the countries, Aafia can be brought to the country in a week,” she said. She also appealed to all the human right organisations to intervene and help her bring Aafia home.

She criticized Pakistan’s Ambassador to America Hussain Haqqani for not visiting Aafia in prison.

Fouzia said she had a meeting with Interior Secretary Kamal Shah on Friday as he had called her to update her about the government efforts regarding release of Aafia.

DHR Chairperson Amina Masood Janjua announced that DHR would register case of missing persons with the United Nations. “During one month tour to Europe I was able to highlight the missing persons’ issue at international fora,” she said. She appealed to the government to take practical steps for recovery of all missing persons.

dailytimes.com.pk

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