Pakistan engages US over alleged abuse of Dr Aafia Siddiqui

09:35 AM | 23 Jun, 2018
Pakistan engages US over alleged abuse of Dr Aafia Siddiqui
ISLAMABAD - The Foreign Office of Pakistan has reportedly contacted the United States Department of State over alleged misbehaviour with Dr Aafia Siddiqui who had been convicted and imprisoned in a US detention centre.

The State Department, through its spokesperson, confirmed that the Pakistani Foreign Office had reached out to them over reported misbehaviour with scientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who is imprisoned in Texas' Federal Medical Center, Carswell.

The spokesperson, however, said the behaviour with convicted criminals in the US is not in  violation with human and international laws.

The conduct of US officials and prison-keepers with those imprisoned was completely in accordance with the Constitution as well as the laws of the United States, the spokesperson explained.

Earlier, a State Department spokesperson had said the matter of reports pertaining to the alleged misbehaviour with Dr Aafia Siddiqui was taken up with relevant officials and a report had been summoned on the consequent probe.

The alleged misbehaviour  - including physical and sexual abuse - against Dr Aafia was brought to light a few days back when a confidential report was submitted before the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

On June 7, 2018, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had summoned a report from the Pakistani Embassy in on a petition filed by the imprisoned scientist's sister, Dr Fouzia following which a report highlighting Aisha Farooqui, the Pakistani consul-general's meeting with Dr Aafia Siddiqui was submitted before the apex court.

In the shocking report, the official had confirmed that the jail officials were not treating Siddiqui properly and she was in a state of fear.

According to Farooqui’s findings, Dr Aafia alleged that her case supervisor and two others attempted to rape her in February, recommending that diplomatic authorities take up the case at the highest levels to find a way for repatriation of the prisoner to Pakistan so that she could serve her remaining sentence in the country.

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It is also recommended that a detailed note be sent to the US Department of Justice for an inquiry into the allegations of physical and sexual abuse, Dr Aafia revealed and to bar entry of certain male staff member into her unit and to ensure her safety, modesty and dignity as a woman.

Aafia’s sister, Fauzia while submitting the confidential report, lamented that she got depressed and upset while reading the report, requesting the top court to make the report part of her case material.

On February 3, 2010, a US federal court in New York found Dr Aafia guilty of two counts of attempted murder, armed assault, using and carrying a firearm, and three counts of assault on US officers and employees.

She was sentenced to 86 years in prison. Recently reports swirled around that the docter had been killed, however, the rumour was unfounded and baseless.