Saturday, August 9, 2008
Aafia Saddiaqqi was Held in Baghram - Release Her!!!
A Pakistani woman charged with attacking US army officers in Afghanistan last month has told her lawyer that she was in US custody for years, despite claims that she was only arrested last month.
Aafia Siddiqui, who is accused of being a key al-Qaida operative, disappeared five years ago. Now being detained in New York, she said she had been held elsewhere for years and was tortured.
Her US lawyer, Elaine Sharp, who interviewed her for three hours on Wednesday, said her description of the place she was detained meant it could only be Bagram, the US base in Afghanistan.
"The abuse was horrendous, it was physical, as well as psychological. It was torture," Sharp said. "When you're locked up in such a place and treated so horrifically, they don't exactly give you a calendar, but she says it was a very long time, years for sure ... They [her captors] were Americans, there's no doubt about it."
While Sharp declined to give details of the alleged abuse, Siddiqui's sister, Fauzia, told a press conference yesterday in Islamabad that Siddiqui had been "raped repeatedly". Sharp said Siddiqui was not getting proper treatment for a bullet wound, which may have gone septic.
The lawyer suggested it was the impending US election, that led the authorities to put Siddiqui on trial through the regular criminal courts, rather than sending her to Guantánamo, where almost all other al-Qaida suspects have been held.
"It's the November elections. And they've chosen New York, home of the Twin Towers, where sentiment is most prejudicial."
The US department of justice did not return calls seeking a response, while the US army in Afghanistan said a spokesman was not available.
SOURCE: The Guardian