First Impressions by Sara Flounders
Blog by Sara Flounders..
Cynthia McKinney and I arrived in Karachi at 4am this morning, Sunday, Dec 2.
We arrived having no idea what to expect or even what difficulties we would have on arrival finding or meeting up with our hosts or what government problems, etc.
To our total surprise there at the airport terminal were literally hundreds of people with flowers, chanting "Welcome" and "Free Aafia" and holding signs and banners for Aafia Siddiqui along with lots of media. We were stunned! This was organized by Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui, Aafia's sister and the Aafia Movement. Aafia's oldest son, now a grown young man, who was kidnapped with Aafia Siddiqui was also there. This was at 4am!!
We got a few hours sleep, we've been traveling since Fri evening and we are severely jet lagged. Later today quite a rally is planned, a meeting with various political VIPs and then a visit with Aafia's mother at her home.
Karachi is twice the size of New York City. This is Aafia's home town. Here the demand for her release from the torture and years of solitary confinement of US Federal prison and her repatriation to Pakistan has overwhelming support. Aafia is a heart-felt symbol of all the missing and disappeared, the victims of US secret rendition programs and targeted drone assassinations. The effort is now focused on getting every part of the political movement and all different political officials to publicly pledge that no one held by Pakistan can be released to the US until Aafia is returned.
We were told that much of the intense schedule this week will be streamed and reported on at www.FreeAafia.org and www.AafiaMovement.com
Please continue to circulate the IAC petition calling for the return of Aafia at: IACenter.org/SiddiquiPetition
This petition has sent more than 250,000 messages to US and Pakistani officials and to the media for Aafia's Repatriation. This simple act of solidarity from activists in the US has made an impact here.
More tomorrow or follow …