WASHINGTON – Pakistani scientist, Aafia Siddiqui has revealed that she was repeatedly subjected to physical as well as sexual abuse inside the US prison, the details of which have been laid out in a confidential report by the Pakistani consul general in Houston, USA.
The veracity of the report can be gauged from the fact that it has been compiled by Aisha Farooqui who recently visited Federal Medical Center (FMC) Carswell in Texasto. Moreover, it has also been submitted to the apex court by Aafia’s sister.
According to Farooqui’s findings, Dr Aafia alleged that her case supervisor and two others attempted to rape her in February.
The report recommends that diplomatic authorities take up the case at the highest levels to find a way for repatriation of Dr Aafia to Pakistan so that she could serve her remaining sentence in the country.
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.
Shockingly, Siddiqui has also accused the male staffer of urinating on her possessions, during her 23 May meeting with the Pakistani official.
The consul general stated that during her two-hour meeting, 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 institutionalized rape and bisexuality that she claimed existed at the FMC Carswell,’ revealed the official.
Despite that the report paints a miserable portrait of the conditions in which Dr Aafia is being held, the report outlines that Dr Aafia was determined, hopeful and had full of faith in Allah and Pakistani people that she would get out of the prison.
The letter states that she is mentally and physically fit and has not fallen on the path of homosexuality.
It adds that Dr Aafia has no confidence in the New York-based lawyers who had been engaged by her sister, asking the consular general to tell her family to replace her legal team.
“In her opinion, only her previous attorney, Tina Foster, could be relied upon as she was sincere and was also Muslim. She was also the one who got her son Ahmed out of the secret prison in Afghanistan.” wrote the official.
Dr Aafia also alleged that jail authorities confiscated her belongings and detailed that her phone calls to family members were recorded and monitored.
Dr Aafia also revealed that she did not feel comfortable talking to her family in the presence of jail staff, showing mistrust that the jail authorities dialled accurate phone numbers.
‘She repeatedly told me that she was constantly disturbed in her room and her privacy was consistently violated by jail staff,’ highlights the report and adds that her case supervisor Annie Noblett, barged into her room, confiscated her belongings and made fun of her and even snatched her scarf off her head.
Siddiqui was of the view that there could be some drugs given to her which made her incoherent and not in her senses like on the three occasions when she was visited previously.
Hussain Haqqani’s PA
Besides exposing the jail authorities, Dr Aafia also accused Asif Hussain, PA to Pakistan’s former ambassador to the US Hussain Haqqani, of syphoning off the $2 million allocated by the government of Pakistan for her trial in 2010.
She stated that this was public money but had been taken by Hussain and possibly Haqqani, who described as him as unhelpful and uninterested in her case, Express Tribune reported.
OBL Link Denied
Dr Aafia categorically stated that contrary to the perception, she had nothing to do with slain al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
Refusal to File Appeal
About her decision to not file an appeal against her sentence in 2011, Dr Aafia said she did it because she was not expecting justice from the same judge in the appeal.
Additionally, she claimed that her case was “lost in the US Supreme Court” due to the incompetence of her lawyers.
When Farooqui asked Dr Aafia that if she would like her mother and sister to visit her, she refused by saying, “Please don’t bring them here”.
She also wrote a short message in Urdu for mother, which is also attached to the report.
Provision of Sewage Water
Dr Aafia stated that she tried to be a practising Muslim as much as possible but the detention facility was not hygienic for prayers, adding that she was given sewage water and even the detergents and cleaning material she was given were unhygienic.
Siddiqui’s Sister Distressed
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.
The report was submitted weeks after the apex court asked the federal government to find out whether Dr Aafia was still alive or not. According to Fowzia, the government has failed to submit anything in this regard.
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.