USA/PAKISTAN: Dr. Aafia Removed to Psychological Facility, Access Denied

October 3, 2008

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

USA/PAKISTAN: Dr. Aafia Siddiqui is removed to a psychological facility and denied access to her family, lawyers and her government

According to information issued by the Ambassador for Pakistan in the United States Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, who was missing along with her three children since March 2003 and arrested by American military personnel in Afghanistan on July 16, 2008, was removed from the New York prison where she was being detained to a facility in Texas. The alleged purpose for this transfer is purportedly for psychological counseling. Dr. Aafia was due to meet with a delegation from the Pakistani Senate next week. Since her removal to this facility she has had no contact with her lawyers and family members.

Dr. Aafia Siddiqui who has been held in New York since being transferred to the United States was removed to the Texas facility state earlier this week. The Daily Jang quoted the Pakistani ambassador as saying that a letter from the US state department was received by him in Washington informing him that Dr. Aafia was being removed to the facility in Texas for psychological treatment and that it was no longer possible for the delegation, which was scheduled to meet her in the New York prison to do so. The letter requests the ambassador to postpone the meeting of the Pakistani Senators. Mr. Hussain Haqqani, the Pakistani ambassador has asked the American authorities to return Dr. Aafia to Pakistan as there the best possible treatment is available. According to the ambassador the psychological clinic at Texas is not set up to provide treatment but is merely a clinic to diagnostic tests.

Dr. Aafia has not attended court proceedings since September 4 and the authorities have informed the court that she has boycotted the proceedings to protest against her body searches. However, Dr. Aafia’s family members are of the view that the authorities are much disturbed by the high number of media persons that attend every court proceeding and the high coverage by human rights organizations.

The sending of a prisoner to a psychiatric facility raises fears about various types of treatments such as shock treatment and subjection to various medical drugs which may be prescribed against her will. Under these circumstances the only way to assure her security and treatment is to provide access to doctors of her family’s or her lawyer’s choice.

Whatever be the reason for the transfer, the family of Dr. Aafia has the right to meet her and the government of Pakistan should also have the right to meet with her. Dr. Aafia’s lawyers also have the righ to contact her.

She is also suffering from bullet wound injuries and has suffered the loss of a kidney after she was shot by American soldiers in Afghanistan. The case against Dr. Aafia has brought to light the extent of human rights violations carried out by the allied forces in the name of the war on terror.

For further information please see our earlier statement, PAKISTAN: Children of Dr. Afia Siddiqui are removed from Bagram and their whereabouts are unknown and Dr. Afia is denied permission to attend court proceedings at:

About AHRC
The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.