A spokesperson for the Federal Medical Center (FMC) Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas denied rumours that Dr Aafia Siddiqui had passed away.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Dr Maria Douglas, the spokesperson for FMC Carswell, where Aafia is serving her prison sentence, said statements that she had passed away were “absolutely false.” Dr Douglas added that no medical emergency had arisen either.
A statement by the Pakistan Embassy in the US said they and the Consulate General in Texas were in regular contact with FMC Carswell authorities regarding Aafia.
“At our query, prison authorities confirmed that Dr Aafia Siddiqui was quite well. She is also in regular telephone contact with her family and, according to the authorities, last telephoned her family on 19 June 2012,” the press release said.
The Embassy maintained it was continuously engaged with the prison authorities to ensure Aafia’s well being.
“An officer from the Pakistan Consulate General in Houston visits Dr Aafia at the FMC prison regularly. The last such visit took place in April 2012.”
The press release further said Aafia’s brother had also visited her in prison. Earlier, text messages circulated in Pakistan claiming that Aafia passed away at the prison facility.
Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a neuroscientist by profession and a graduate of MIT, allegedly went missing for five years before she was discovered in Afghanistan. The prosecution says that she tried to fire on a US soldier during her interrogation. She has also been accused of working for al Qaeda. Her family disputes the US version of this account. She was sentenced to 86 years in prison in 2010 in a New York court.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2012.
More in PakistanPM’s conviction: Aitzaz has no regrets for not filing appeal