Dr Aafia Siddiqui: SHC reserves verdict on family’s plea for meeting

The Nation  |  Feb 16, 2022

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday reserved its verdict in a petition seeking directives for the government to ensure a meeting between Dr Aafia Siddiqui, Pakistani-American neuroscientist languishing in a US prison, and her family.

Siddiqui, a US citizen of Pakistani origin, was sentenced to 86 years imprisonment by a US court for allegedly shooting at US army and FBI officers while in custody in Afghanistan.

The lawyer of the Siddiqui family in his arguments said that don’t have any information about the condition of Dr Aafia for the last 2 years. A meeting can be arranged between the inmate and her family as per the jail manual, he added.

To, this the bench asked who can SHC pass orders as per jail manuals?

The court can direct the MOFA and concerned institutions for arranging a meeting, the lawyer added. The assistant attorney general (AGP) said they are in touch with the high commissioner and US authorities on the matter.

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Chief Justice Sindh High Court Justice Ahmed Ali Shaikh after hearing arguments reserved the verdict and announced to pronounce the verdict today.

Fouzia Siddiqui, the inmate’s sister, filed the petition in the high court, demanding that the government take measures to ensure a meeting between Dr Aafia and her family in the US prison.

Last year in August, the Foreign Office of Pakistan had said Dr Aafia Siddiqui was assaulted by a fellow inmate in a United States (US) prison. “We learnt of an assault on Dr Afia Siddiqui by a fellow inmate at FMC Carswell on 30 July 2021,” the FO spokesperson said.

“Our Embassy in Washington DC as well as our Consulate General in Houston immediately took up the matter with the concerned US authorities. Our Consul General in Houston visited Dr Aafia Siddiqui immediately to ascertain her well-being. She had received some minor injuries but was doing fine,” the statement read.

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