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Aafia Siddiqui's Health Deteriorating

Apr 21, 2011


Video and Interview with Dr. Aafia's Family

Mohammad Toori, PRESS TV


fauzia press-tv

The family members of a Pakistani neuroscientist imprisoned in the US say that she has become ill and frail due to her conditions at the notorious Carswell prison.
The mother of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui recently talked to her daughter and says that Aafia's physical and mental health have deteriorated, a Press TV correspondent reported. Pakistan's ambassador to the US has confirmed this.
Siddiqui was sentenced last year to 86 years in prison on seven counts in a federal court in Manhattan. US officials claim she was an al-Qaeda agent, but her family says this is a cover-up.
Less than a month after sentencing, Siddiqui fired her lawyers.
Her sister Fouzia says that the US authorities have turned down their request for a new lawyer, and that Aafia's court-appointed lawyer Dawn Cardi did not consult them before filing an appeal on April 15.
“Dawn Cardi, she was the lead lawyer…Aafia rejected each and every one of them [court appointed lawyers],” Fouzia told Press TV.
“We as a family rejected them in the sense that we said we would want independent lawyers…We wanted lawyers of our choice, who are independent, who are not being paid by a government who has sold its own citizen,” she added.
Aafia's Zardari administration says they are trying their best to ensure the safe and immediate release of Siddiqui, but nothing has materialized so far.
Her release has become a national issue in Pakistan and attracting the attention of human rights groups across the globe. They say she is deprived of the rights a detainee should have according to international law.
Aafia has been named the "daughter of the nation" by Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

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