Dr Aafia still alive: US prison spokesperson

Published: June 20, 2012
Aafia has also been accused of working for al Qaeda. PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE

Aafia has also been accused of working for al Qaeda. PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE

WASHINGTON: An official for the holding facility where neuroscientist Dr Afia Siddiqui is being kept, has denied rumours of her death.

Speaking to The Express Tribune on Wednesday, Dr Maria Douglas, a spokesperson for Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas where Dr Siddiqui is serving her prison sentence, vehemently denied rumours and said that it was absolutely false that Dr Siddiqui had passed away, adding that no medical emergency has arisen.

Earlier, text messages were circulating in Pakistan claiming that Dr Siddiqui had passed away at the prison facility.

Dr 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 by a New York court.

A statement issued by the Embassy of Pakistan said that they and the Pakistani Consulate General in Texas are in regular contact with the FMC Carswell authorities regarding Dr Aafia Siddiqui. “At our query, the prison authorities confirmed today that Dr 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.”

“An officer from the Pakistan Consulate General in Houston visits Dr Siddiqui at the FMC prison regularly. The last such visit took place in April 2012. Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s brother has also visited her in prison,” said the press release.

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Reader Comments (68)

  • Mullah kuta
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:31PM

    I have no sympathy for this women, she is not even pakistani as she holds a US passport. I really find it difficult to understand why our population makes heroes out of terrorists and murderers. This mentality must stopRecommend

  • Cautious
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:39PM

    Since she has regular contact with her family any news reporter could have contacted them to put this rumor to rest – of course contacting her husband or uncle who are in Guantanamo might have been a challenge.


  • Syed
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:47PM

    @ Mullah Kuta,
    If she is terrorist then try her as a terrorist in Court. She wasnt even charged as terrorist in USA court, she was charged with assault on US officer during investigation. The whole premise is flawed, why was she arrested in first place, she has not been charged on that.
    If she is terrorist then charge her on that case and hang her if proven guilty.


  • akhlaq
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:48PM

    she is pakistani like many other pakistanis holding dual nationalities. her family is pakistani and all she holds is pakistani nationality. how can she be not a pakistani when every one of us feel sympathy for her. having dual nationality does not make a difference coz out parliamentarians and MNAs also hold dual nationalities. i cant express my feelings for her.


  • sil3nce
    Jun 20, 2012 - 9:58PM

    a slap on the face of all human rights, woman rights n other NGO face, is the case of dr. afia…… surely this case has exposed the agenda of the organizations


  • Jawad U Rahman
    Jun 20, 2012 - 10:18PM

    @sil3nce: Exactly how? If I may ask…


  • Anonymous
    Jun 20, 2012 - 10:36PM

    where are all human rights which were introduced by America.even facility of treatment is not provided to prisons of gwntanamobay.why rights mentioned in Geneva convention are not for these prisons???????????????
    American govt has no ans for it.Recommend

  • mehar
    Jun 20, 2012 - 10:46PM

    where are all human rights which were introduced by America.even the facility of medical treatment is not given to prisons of gwantanamobay.why rights mentioned in Geneva convention are not for these prisoners???????????????????????
    i know these are those questions which can not be answered even by American govt.Recommend

  • Amna
    Jun 20, 2012 - 10:49PM

    a slap on USA face


  • annetariq
    Jun 20, 2012 - 11:00PM

    Dr. afia sidique is a muslim lady and islam is not restricted to specific regions this is true religion for whole humanity and those who ebrace islam and are true muslims are like brothers and sisters, so we definitely feel sympathy for her because she is our sister and not a terrorist not any crime is committed by her, and even their lawyers couldnt give any prove against her.


  • Ali
    Jun 20, 2012 - 11:01PM

    For those of you BRAINWASHED people who claim that she is a terrorist should know better that she is not!! Just like america LIED and BETRAYED not just the people of iraq, and vietnam into thinking that they are “terrorist heavens” when OBVIOUSLY they were not! Dr. Aafia did NOT commit ANY terrorist activity all she did was self-defence when the americans KILLED her children and tried to murder her husband! Tell me, if pakistan goes and invades only the state of texas and kidnaps one of its female residents all under the claim of terrorism would you think the people of texas would be quiet?!?!! Even if the woman was a terrorist the americans would fight back! Then why is that not the case with us as pakistanis and as muslims!
    The VERY reason why subcontinent became a muslim areas was because muhammad bin qasim came to the call of those muslims who were BRUTALLY oppressed by raja dahir (just as muslims are being oppressed today)!! SO PLEASE RESEARCH AND STUDY AND SHOUT OUT AGAINST THOSE WHO DO INJUSTICE RATHER THAN SHOUT OUT AGAINST THE ONES WHO ARE OPPRESSED!
    No wonder we as a nation need to WAKE UP!


  • tariq rasool
    Jun 20, 2012 - 11:14PM

    i salute thiis great pious woman, if she is dead may Almighty bless her death and life after death… if she is alive may Almighty make a way for his release from the nonsense people….Recommend

  • faraz
    Jun 20, 2012 - 11:25PM

    Why does Hakeemullah Mehsood, the head of TTP want Afia released? There are dozens of videos on Youtube where TTP terrorists are demanding her release


  • Saif M
    Jun 20, 2012 - 11:35PM

    Can someone explain what was she doing in Afghanistan with a child in the first place? And when she disappeared from her Karachi home, why did her family not report the matter to police or public?


  • hina malik
    Jun 20, 2012 - 11:37PM

    no Muhammad bin qasim to help her, what our leaders did? my love for afia. ALLAH bless you.


  • Hairaan
    Jun 20, 2012 - 11:52PM

    Our NGOs and so called liberal champions of women rights are more concerned about Asia Bibi to gain points in the eyes of their foreign christian masters. Who cares about this poor Muslim lady languishing in the US prison.


  • BlaaardyCivilians
    Jun 21, 2012 - 12:09AM

    if she’s a US national why does our population care? don’t we have enough REAL problems at home to solve? let the country of her nationality judge her according to their laws. We have no business interfering in their affairs. Lets move on from aafia and try to solve the huge problems we as a nation face today.


  • John Lee
    Jun 21, 2012 - 12:13AM

    “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

    (Malcolm X)Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Jun 21, 2012 - 12:16AM

    Just take a deep breath and think.

    Consider the above article and replace Afia Siddiqui with Aisa Bibi who is jailed in Pakistan and ask yourself “is this right?”.


  • Cautious
    Jun 21, 2012 - 12:31AM

    Wikipedia has a rather nice write up on this lady http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aafia_Siddiqui – it would appear that many in Pakistan should take the time to read it. She is not an American citizen. Her children who were born in the USA automatically became citizens but that doesn’t bestow citizenship on her.


  • K.A.Noorani
    Jun 21, 2012 - 12:44AM

    Who cares if she’s is alive or not? She’s an american national and is convicted by american court of law. Loosers should stop shedding crocodile tears for her now.


  • himanshu
    Jun 21, 2012 - 12:46AM

    lets assume she is innocent , so then why the USA is punishing her , do the whole american country has some grudge with a single so called innocent lady…man just finish your weed and try to face the reality ,,,no country is so foolish and has such free time to do useless jobs


  • Babloo
    Jun 21, 2012 - 12:49AM

    If Prof Hafeez Saeed of LeT is a great social worker then
    Dr Afia is the mother Teresa of Pakistan.


  • Rahil Khan
    Jun 21, 2012 - 1:08AM

    The usa government
    If she alive we watch need a live video on your TV channel here in Pakistan channel. and usa were is your human rites about people such a fool law in usa government. do you remember that one year a ago that your criminal people Raymond Davis do you remember that he killed a people in Pakistan and you are also use a national power of pressure instrument that my Raymond Davis release why you he killed a people and many more people see live because Raymond Davis are a terrorism in Pakistan and i appreciate to my country president i like to abuse word use in this men. and why usa why u need a Aafia Siddique beacuse you are a relay afraid for her because she is a powerful mind this is a GOD gifted you know that and My ALLAH also save her.

    I said to you usa

    RELESE HER, Because she is a Sister or daughter of my country. Recommend

  • anon
    Jun 21, 2012 - 1:11AM

    @saif m
    she was kidnapped with her kids and the family was threatened not to report this to any officials or otherwise face the worst consequences.


  • Scorpio
    Jun 21, 2012 - 1:36AM

    It wasn’t the US that arrested her…it was our own Pakistani intelligence agencies thst picked her up and delivered her to the CIA for which they were paid millions of dollars. This was mentioned in General Pervez Musharraf’s book, ‘ In the line of fire.’ It was only when the British journalist Yvonne Ridley wrote about it that her case received public attention and the US were forced to charge her.


  • j. von hettlingen
    Jun 21, 2012 - 1:48AM

    If Aafia Siddiqui is still alive, her life is not at all enviable – 86 years behind bars!


  • Hussaini Shehbaz
    Jun 21, 2012 - 1:58AM

    She’s a shame for Pakistanis for what she did….I can never forgive a terrorist.


    Jun 21, 2012 - 2:08AM

    Will Imran Khan’s government bring Afia home? Lets hope someone can.


  • numbersnumbers
    Jun 21, 2012 - 2:16AM

    I wonder if the Pakistani government has also visited all the other Pakistanis in prison in America? NOT, only the ones who will score political points!


  • Col Imtiaz
    Jun 21, 2012 - 2:20AM

    @ Tariq Rasoo – You and others are worried about this women because you claim she is a pure pakistani (although she holds US citizenship as well) . Can I ask why you people don’t show the same worry for the thousands of starving women in pakistan or the thousands denied education in NWFP or the thousands of women sexually exploited (not by americans but by pakistanis) in Heera Mandi? –
    I am afraid you people have double standards – it seems if a women is not a terrorist or terrorist sympathiser its not worth worrying about her


  • Murtad kuta
    Jun 21, 2012 - 3:01AM

    @Syed – Agreed


  • Maz3tt
    Jun 21, 2012 - 3:28AM

    May Allah bless her. the real essence of what is right and what is wrong comes with finding it sincerely in the light of quran and sunah not just listening to the news and being brainwashed. if she is in problem then it automatically becomes our problem.


  • Azhar Khan
    Jun 21, 2012 - 3:51AM

    I hate not knowing for sure what’s going on. May God protect innocent human beings. May God guide us to the right path. Amen


  • shakib
    Jun 21, 2012 - 4:31AM

    @Saif M:
    she was sold to the ameircans as musharraf says in his book for $5000 a piece falsely accused as taliban assets after being kidnapped outside her residence in karachi. evidence of kidnapping has been reported by one of the police officer involved later in local news papers. her family was threatened with murder and further disappearances by people in plain clothes soon after her kidnapping if the family went public on this. in this kind of situation any family including yours will do as told in today’s pakistan even if it were a family feud. use your brain, have some shame for having a sponge instead of a brain.


  • Spud
    Jun 21, 2012 - 4:39AM

    @annetariq: Since when did Islam become a religion for all humanity? Who decreed it so? Do not go about making wild and unsubstantiated claims. You do not give Ahamdiyas and members of other religions living in Pakistan and othe Muslim countries equal treatment. Afia was a traitor to US because while being a US citizen she was actively supporting its enemies. Therefore she deserves her punishment. Pakistanis should not lose sleep over her. She is treated better in prison in the US than she would as a woman in any Muslim nation. andclaims


  • Cautious
    Jun 21, 2012 - 6:16AM


    Will Imran Khan’s government bring
    Afia home? Lets hope someone can.

    Once she finishes her sentence she will be deported back to Pakistan. Based on IK’s anti American blather he will have little ability to influence America — might not even get anyone to pick up the phone.


  • Syed
    Jun 21, 2012 - 6:28AM

    Maybe cause she was on wanted list, they arrested her, and in order to save themselves from embarrassment of putting up a name on wanted list without any proof, they created a fake case on her. ?? Does this answer your supposed question??
    Nothing was proved in the court, on which account she was arrested in the first place.
    I again say try her on terrorism charges too along with the current joke charges she was put behind bar for.


  • Jun 21, 2012 - 6:34AM

    Its very shameful for the New York government to do this to a local Pakistani.I indeed believe that she will return home safely,with respect,by any means that Allah wants(like by Imrankhan)


  • anwar
    Jun 21, 2012 - 6:46AM

    The prosecution says that she tried to fire on a US soldier during her interrogation UNBELIEVABLE PERIOD


  • RS
    Jun 21, 2012 - 6:51AM

    Col Imtiaz comments do hv valid points n we as Pakistani should look n correct our own society within. But problem in this case is that group or community she seemingly belong thrive on rubbing in to keep others forget the real tragedies our society facing.


  • Yaida M
    Jun 21, 2012 - 6:53AM

    @Syed: Don’t keep spreading lies. She was convicted of terrorism and trying to kill US citizens. She was not a Pakistani citizen. When you choose to reside in another country the laws of that land applies – not Pakistan’s.


  • Future_of_Pak
    Jun 21, 2012 - 7:11AM

    it seems unclear what really happened in her case. there are so many conflicting views if one were to research this thoroughly. a real mess is what I think.


  • Imran Con
    Jun 21, 2012 - 7:46AM

    That confident sound will get your credibility in trouble. It was not during a traditional interrogation in a safe guarded interrogation room as you would have people believe. That incident occurred when Afghan authorities took her into an Afghan compound. It’s not like they run a tight ship in those. Guilty or innocent, it is believably possible and you should get your facts straight. If it was a US government interrogation room, then yes, it would be unbelievable. But it wasn’t, as you’d say… PERIOD.


  • XYZ
    Jun 21, 2012 - 7:58AM


    Because they just need a few agendas to prove US anti Islam. Their demand for her release does not imply her being a terrorist.


  • Sehr.Siddiqui
    Jun 21, 2012 - 8:44AM

    Will someone, journalist or a channel please give a profile of this lady? Who is she, where was she educated, at whose expenses, what did she studied, where did she worked, who did she marry, what is her husband doing, is the marriage still on, if not why, what is her nationality, where was she arrested from, what was she doing in Kabul, and a countless number of such questions. Only then we would know the real story. If she is American then she is being tried and imprisoned in the land of her own choice. We have distorted the history enough, let us not distort the present.


  • Hassan
    Jun 21, 2012 - 9:05AM

    When US congress can demand release of Dr Afridi. Why can’t Pakistani parliment pass a resolution to ask US to free Dr Afia.

    Its a perfect timing to do negotiations. If they want a convicted person in Pakistan released, they should release the convicted person in US


  • U
    Jun 21, 2012 - 9:07AM


    She is charged with “attempt” to kill a US soldier, not for murder or terrorism. Wonder how she got there in Afghanistan after being kidnapped in Karachi, Who kidnapped her and sent her there? She was never FORMALLY arrested in Pakistan, Afghanistan or US for that so called “interrogation”, where she is “alleged” to have picked up a weapon. Will wait for your EXPLANATION.


  • Yaida M
    Jun 21, 2012 - 9:13AM

    @himanshu is right. Only in Pakistan are innocent citizens targeted and taken away by the agencies over the slightest suspicion. Their mangled bodies are then returned. The rest of the world is far more civilized. So it is easy for Pakistani citizens to believe that this is what is happening with Aafia too. Fact is, nowhere else is such barbarism prevalent. Aafia is in jail for a reason.


  • A J Khan
    Jun 21, 2012 - 10:37AM

    She would not have been given so much of punishment, if she wasn’t involved in illegal and criminal activities.


  • Ahsan
    Jun 21, 2012 - 4:24PM


    Mr. Syed if she has charged with assult on US Soldier then still being her a US citizen they can give her a punishment. Why do you people are making noices for her.

    She is US national and we being a Pakistani should look at our country first hundred of people are dying every day and we are showing our concern for a US national who is in US custody ……..Pathetic


  • Cautious
    Jun 21, 2012 - 6:33PM


    Mr. Syed if she has charged with
    assult on US Soldier then still being
    her a US citizen they can give her a

    She is not a US citizen — she tried to kill a US Soldier in Afghanistan and was extradited to the USA – tried in an open court with a multi million dollar defense team – convicted – and will be deported back to Pakistan when her sentence is completed. Some in Pakistan just don’t get the concept that trying to kill an American anywhere in the World is considered a crime by the USA whether your a US citizen or not — if the country you assaulted the American sends you back to America your going to face criminal prosecution.


  • Umer
    Jun 21, 2012 - 8:02PM

    Messages have been spread on cellular phones that Dr Aafia Siddiqui has died in US jail, and let us pray for her. This message has not been verified on any news channel rather it is a rumor.

    In my view Dr. Aafia Siddiqui has already died when the nation of Pakistan decided to sell her to USA.

    No doubt Aafia Siddiqui will be remembered as a daughter of the nation forever. And those who sold daughters and sons of the nation must remember that they will face the Almighty Allah one day. Then Allah will let them know what they were doing while torturing and selling people.


  • Umer
    Jun 21, 2012 - 8:03PM

    may be she is died but this news is being kept by the authorities to avoid the protest in pakistan and unity. or to solve the afganistan supply line matters.


  • Syed
    Jun 21, 2012 - 8:50PM

    @ Yaida M,
    I am not lying you can verify the facts. She was not convicted for attacking interrogator while in custody, why was she in custody in the first place.>????
    Why didn’t USA try her for the charge she was put on most wanted list for and arrested for???
    Also she isn’t USA citizen she is Pakistani citizen. And I am not making noise. Just voicing my opinion, which I have right to voice. Get used to it.
    P.S, I am not affiliated with fanatic mullahs and their movements, (in fact I hate them), so dont try to confuse me with them.

    @ Ahsan
    read my reply above. plus, I agree with you we should look into what happening in our country first. But that doesnt mean that I cant voice my opinion on other issues!!.


  • B.Ally
    Jun 22, 2012 - 5:27PM

    Afia is a known double agent. She got what such people get because they are no loyal to any one. She was disloyal to Americans for whom she took oath of Allegiance and then turned on them to work for Taliban. When her Talib husband died she appeared on the scene claiming she was kidnapped. No one kidnapped her . She is not a Pakistani. She got what she asked for.


  • Jun 22, 2012 - 11:30PM

    Dr Afia was an Amercan National and visited Pakistan as American citizen. By a doctor she could do her nobal professional duty in Pakistan or USA. It is surprising what was she doing in Afghanistan during unrest and security problems there. She was punished and treated as American citizen. Unfortunatly it has become a trend here that criminals are regarded as heros. When ever a wanted criminal is killed some people show much sympathy with criminal instead for the law inforcing agecies. The polititions are trapping innocent people by these useless issues. A US citizen punished by he country’s court why should we cry.


  • Sexton Blake
    Jun 25, 2012 - 5:54AM

    @Azhar Khan:
    Dear Azhar Khan, Nobody is aware of what happens behind closed doors. You just have to use logic. In America’s case you know they tell lies and are incredibly brutal If as in Dr. Siddiqui’s case the American version of events does not ring true it probably is not. We do know that Americans hold people without charge and torture them on an indefinite basis. Additionally, there is a mountain of data being created which suggests that the Doctor has been cruelly treated. For example, she was held in U.S. torture camps for several years and her torturers could not extract enough information from her to create an indictment. They belatedly had to hang on to her a ridiculous charge of attempting to kill her torturers. Let us hope we never have to face up to American justice in any part of of the world and particularly New York. On a brighter side, now that Dr. Siddiqui has been sentenced to 86 years they will probably stop torturing her; or will they? American intelligence seems to enjoy hurting people. A further plus to consider is that we know the Americans will produce someone who creates another disaster such as Mr. Raymond Davies. When it happens, if it has not already, Pakistan should be able to organize an exchange.


  • Sexton Blake
    Jun 25, 2012 - 6:49AM

    Dear Cautious, You just do not get it. The Americans go all around the world killing people and getting away with it, but object if someone retaliates. Do you think this may be one of the many reasons why America has become the world pariah.


  • Musa
    Jul 7, 2012 - 8:36PM

    @Rahil Khan:
    she is not a terrorist


  • Jul 7, 2012 - 11:35PM

    It is a matter of great concern for me and exeedingly hard to post one sided comments. Let me ask how many innocent people died in pakistan in the past decades in the streets in suicide bombing. How many peogle mourned for them. Which included more than 5000 men of the security forces, a war with no enemy ln front. How many sympathies were shown by the people now advocating for Afia Siddique. She is a single person with a few family members almost half pakistanis. About 35000 people including top ranking poltician, armed forces jawans, officers, well known officers and innocent citizen aged,young, children and women who spoke for them an artical in papers and forgotten. What was Dr Afia doing in Afghanistan which was almost in war. If some people show their sympathies and consider her a hero, so they should once try to know what country she was loyal to. Now the other side of the picture. The America’s role in the case of Dr Afia. She was found guilty of ineffective firing upon a US soldier for which she was jailed for 86 years. How much support has been given by amnesty international for her unpresedented punishment. Had she killed the soldier then the punishment could be a thousand years imprisonment. It is an internal matter of the US govt. A US court punished an American citzen, why should we drop tears. Think of what is happening to the people here. Every man is an alien in own country. Think of Karachi, of quetta of the tribal belt. Think of the elected late Prime Minister of Pakitan Zufiqar Ali Butto. And his family’s sufferings. FIRST LET US BE A TRUE GOD FEARING MUSLIM AND THEN LOYAL TO THE MOTHER LAND HONEST TO THE NATION STOP CORRUPTION FROM UPPER TO LOWER LEVEL. THEN DEAL WITH OTHER NATIONS BASED ON EQUATY AND SELF RESPECT. Pakistan zindabad.


  • Muhammed Al-Qahtani
    Jul 14, 2012 - 1:25PM

    We are proud of our Muslim sister Aafia and we hope that her patience and sufferings will never be wasted insha’Allah! Trials have a purpose behind them and Allah knows the best!Recommend

  • Jihan Shakul
    Jul 24, 2012 - 1:56AM

    you are not getting the point at all@K.A.Noorani:


  • Tj
    Jul 24, 2012 - 10:25PM

    It is true, pres bush engineered 9/11. Check out bill coopers vis on YouTube. And as a pakistani American I feel what dr aafia did was right. Recommend

  • Malik Ali
    Aug 1, 2012 - 5:20AM

    We are not humans we have turned in to animal’s the daughter of Pakistan is in jail just for slapping a police and we Pakistani are sitting down doing nothing shame on us


  • Adnan
    Aug 2, 2012 - 9:10AM


    She is a MIT graduate, A beauty with brain. A way better than intellectual and horirble looking liberal ladies.



  • Mushtaq Mohd Najar
    Aug 6, 2012 - 6:39PM

    the people who dont respect their women of their religion and nation are cowards and impotent because the most precious thing a man has is his honour and girls are the biggest sings of that respect. You might not care about her but we care a lot about Dr. Aafia Sidique as she is our muslim sister and we are proud of her that she despite having such qualified backgroun worked for the wellbeing of her muslim brethrens. She is a shining star of muslim ummah we pray her wellbeing and early release from the american prosecution.Recommend

  • Ali
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:21AM

    @tariq rasool:


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