Case closed: Aafia Siddiqui allowed to end US appeal

Published: October 11, 2014
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Dr Aafia Siddiqui. PHOTO: REUTERS

Dr Aafia Siddiqui. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK: 

A US court on Thursday allowed Dr Aafia Siddiqui to withdraw what could be the last appeal of her conviction on charges of attempted murder.

US District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan said that Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year sentence in a prison medical centre in Texas, had ‘clearly and unequivocally’ stated her intent to end the appeal.

The judge ordered the case closed and said that, even if the appeal had continued, he likely would have ruled against her. Siddiqui was represented at trial by an able team of five lawyers, Berman wrote. He declined to hold a hearing to question her further. In May, a new lawyer filed the appeal on Siddiqui’s behalf, but in July Siddiqui wrote a letter to Berman saying she had no faith in the US legal system and refused to participate in it.

A jury convicted Siddiqui in 2010 of attempting to shoot and kill a group of FBI agents, US soldiers and interpreters who were about to interrogate her in Ghazni, Afghanistan, for alleged links to al Qaeda.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (30)

  • Aakashvaani
    Oct 11, 2014 - 9:27AM

    Case closed: Let her rot and enjoy the company of her many brothers in Gitmo. She will soon be united with her idealistic father OBL in Jannah, with Hafiz saeed and many other Pakistanis to follow soon.

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  • Mirza
    Oct 11, 2014 - 9:39AM

    A confessed convict still remains darling of many rightwing Pakistanis and ISIS, Taliban and Al-Qaeda. What a shame that she has brought bad name to Pakistan even though she was living in the US. In comparison we have Malala the great who is darling of the world and fighting the terrorists for the rights of women despite heavy odds and dangers.

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  • A J Khan
    Oct 11, 2014 - 10:24AM

    Justice done to a criminal. Now she should relax in Jail. He companions have killed thousands of innocent.

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  • Iqbal
    Oct 11, 2014 - 12:22PM

    Case closed. Now convert this 86 year term into a death penalty. For 86 years the American tax payers will have to finance her stay in jail. She is a convicted terrorist unlike in Pakistan no terrorists are convicted except blasphemers.

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  • Haider
    Oct 11, 2014 - 1:04PM

    Every one is innocent until Proved guilty..Without proof that whether she has done something wrong she is treated as guilty until proved innocent…..Wow US…..Drone attacks,torturing innocents ,killing 1000’s in Iraq and Afghanistan. What moreRecommend

  • Saleem
    Oct 11, 2014 - 1:20PM

    the alBakistanis make crooks, murderers, terrorists their heroes and disown Nobel prize winners. What a nation!Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Oct 11, 2014 - 2:01PM

    She has been raped and tortured, where are the human rights activists ? why are they silent ? on the other other hand this American puppet Malala is getting nobel prize…hypocrisy at its best.

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  • Imran
    Oct 11, 2014 - 2:50PM

    Who cares about her …. Malala got the noble prize horray

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  • Inzimam
    Oct 11, 2014 - 3:03PM

    Dr. Aafia was highly educated and hold MIT degree and was symbol of high level education that is lacking in Pakistan, but only because she was not a spy or a propagandist she was raped and then jailed on trumped up charges by US kangroo courts, but on the other side we have a lowly educated girl with no sense of the modern world but since she was used as a propaganda tool against US enemies, she is being paraded as hero around the world. From this we are convinced that for US and her local lackeys its NOT the issue of Education or Women Rights that matters BUT its US War Interests and subjugation of the Islamic World that holds real value. Both Aafia and Malala are victims of falsehood and deception and those who deliberately follow this deception are among those who are either devoid of truth or conscience.

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  • Citizen26
    Oct 11, 2014 - 3:32PM

    Dr Afia is abducted from Karachi jointly by FBI & ISI. She is then taken to Afghanistan by FBI for interrogation where Dr Afia (4ft 10inch) successfully manages to snatch a rifle from one of the FBI agent’s hands in FBI office and infront of other FBI officers.
    Well, even after hearing contradictory accounts of witnesses Jury decided to declare Dr Afia as guilty and sentenced her to 86 years in prison.
    Question: What has Jury decided for those 5 FBI agents? Don’t jury think they are incapable and misfit to hold positions in FBI and be part of a war against terrorism. If 4ft 10inch tall lady can manage to snatch a gun then what is their legitimatey to be in FBI and be part of a campaign to make world suffer. They are in-fact losers and should be thrown into prison for 100 years.

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  • Hassan
    Oct 11, 2014 - 3:47PM

    Iam quite shocked at the comments here. It seems that none of the people commented have any daughter or sister.

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  • HumanBeing
    Oct 11, 2014 - 4:25PM

    @Hassan: Thats because the comments are being made by Indian Internet Trolls, some of them pretending to be Pakistanis.

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  • Sexton Blake
    Oct 11, 2014 - 5:03PM

    @Hassan:
    Dear Hassan,
    Everything I have read indicates that the New York court decision against Dr A Siddiqui was very unsafe. Unfortunately, we will never be allowed to know the truth of the matter. Additionally, Judge R Berman’s comments were extremely inappropriate. I hope my children never have to front up to Judge R Berman.

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  • unbelievable
    Oct 11, 2014 - 5:41PM

    The real tragedy is this woman wasted a highly coveted USA taxpayer sponsored education at MIT/Brandeis University which might have gone to another Pakistani who could have used that education to help Pakistan. What a waste.

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  • Oct 11, 2014 - 6:15PM

    I am surprised to see a helpless women languishing in Jail that too in USA, which is the WORLD POWER and next to GOD POWER…

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  • IMTIAZ SYED
    Oct 11, 2014 - 6:19PM

    There were a few opportunities to get her back but Pakistani government didn’t take an active interest to get her released in exchange with real American murderer in the incident at Lahore. An effort can be made to get her paroled and US be given guarantee that she stays away from Pakistan to avoid contacts with whom they think could spell trouble. This will ensure to safeguard the interests of some selfish leaders in Pakistan that she will not become involved in politics. I feel tremendous pain for her sufferings,

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Oct 11, 2014 - 6:27PM

    Like “Drones”, Dr. Aafia’s case is also clouded in confusion, lies and mystery. JI and her other supporters are silent and are not talking about her. JI refused to support her sister in elections and people of Karachi proved that they have no sympathy with her cause.

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  • unbelievable
    Oct 11, 2014 - 8:52PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:

    Like “Drones”, Dr. Aafia’s case is
    also clouded in confusion, lies and
    mystery

    She had a public trial attended by journalist from around the World .. had a multi million dollar legal defense team – took the witness stand and was shredded by the prosecutor – not much confusion/mystery in that process.

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  • Humane
    Oct 11, 2014 - 9:44PM

    While nobody, who has any regard for humanity, can support terrorism but 86 years punishment for snatching a rifle and not killing anyone. Come on commentators- where are we going. Even murderers are not given 86 years in US.

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  • Vikram
    Oct 12, 2014 - 4:23AM

    @unbelievable: US is wasting billions of dollars of US Taxpayers money in Pakistan. I hope Taxpayers wake up and demand and end to this freeloading.

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  • someone
    Oct 12, 2014 - 6:12AM

    @HumanBeing:
    You seem to have some strong sixth sense. Could you please care to tell the people in NWFP when is next drone coming?

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  • js
    Oct 12, 2014 - 7:24AM

    How many of the jurors were of Pakistani origin or muslims, was she judged by her peers, I think not.
    Why was her case not referred to the International court of Justice.
    We know racial prejudice exists in US, is this a safe conviction?
    I am Indian by the way, before you start saying Indians cannot give a contrary view.

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  • Sexton Blake
    Oct 12, 2014 - 2:32PM

    Let us get this straight. Dr A Siddiqui has not been charged with terrorism. If the US prosecution had had the slightest piece of evidence that Dr Siddiqui had been involved in terrorism they would have included it in their list of charges. All that we know is that Dr Siddiqui was picked up and held in a notorious US torture prison, her torturers came up with the minor and unbelievable charge that a diminutive women attempted retaliation with a military assault weapon against several hulking people who do not exactly have a reputation for being truthful or pleasant dinner companions. Hardly reliable court witnesses. Strangely too, only US personnel saw this. The Afghan personnel who were present did not. Also no forensic evidence was provided, which is virtually mandatory when someone is accused of firing a bullet. Then we have to ask why a solitary women out of the many thousands of people the US does not like was shipped to New York with her torturers, at great expense to the taxpayer, for an obvious show trial. She was shipped mind you a week after several bullets, part of her intestines and a kidney were removed from inside her body for a court appearance. Then Judge Berman became upset because Dr A Siddiqui was somewhat hysterical during court appearances, where empathy for her condition was completely missing, and the evidence provided was doubtful. I will not go too deeply into the questionable courtroom tactics used at several levels to find Dr A Siddiqui guilty, but I agree with many observers who found the trial to be a travesty of justice. Further, almost all the legal courtroom personnel belonged to a racial group I will not mention. Americans justice can be correctly legalistic and self righteous when it suits, but it was sadly lacking in Dr A Siddiqui’s case. It was a show trial designed to find the Doctor guilty. I wonder if ET will print this?

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  • Shaista Ali
    Oct 12, 2014 - 2:43PM

    @Inzimam:
    Well said and the undiluted truth.

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  • Shaista Ali
    Oct 12, 2014 - 2:53PM

    @Aakashvaani:
    ET why are these Indian habitual trolls imbued with bile and hatred towards Paks allowed to vent here in our newspapers? I provided a comment to Times of India yesterday about the LOC matter only to have it swiftly rejected and a comment from the so called moderator who told me I should learn from white people. Why do we always have to be the nice guy and why are these trolls on our yes OUR SITE? What temerity, what colossal gall. Insha Allah Dr Aafia will receive Allah’s help and be released to Pak. What a travesty of justice and US serial killers get 3 years and the like.

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  • salim
    Oct 12, 2014 - 5:17PM

    Some facts that few know about:
    1. Dr. Afia obtained full scholarship from MIT in view of her brilliant educational record.

    She petitioned MIT to arrange Halal Food in canteens for muslim students. This was accepted without any issues.

    She rightly asked for prayer rooms for males and females. Again accepted without any problem.

    She then requested a room to house Muslim Students Association which was allocated by MIT. Thats when clandestine and behind the scenes meetings attended by extremists began.

    She had good knowledge on handling guns having joined a shooting club outside Boston which she regularly visited.

    All the above facts can easliy be verified.

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  • Shaista Ali
    Oct 13, 2014 - 12:52AM

    @salim:
    Thank you for the further information provided which is interesting. However I would assess myself whether they were actually terrorists regarding your comment re the “clandestine” meetings. There is immense bias and Islamophobia in the west against anyone with a beard. Rather than go by American sources which simply unfortunately are not always credible, I would test the veracity by research based on credible sources like Muslim websites. I would go by Sexton Blake’s version above as it appears to be well researched and unbiased.

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  • wajid
    Oct 13, 2014 - 6:47PM

    @Shaista Ali:
    Times of India is the worst news site in the world. 99% of comments on times of india are hatred against Pakistan and Muslims. Just look at the comments on “third largest Mosque in pakistan” link on times of india.

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  • Shaista Ali
    Oct 13, 2014 - 8:48PM

    @wajid:
    Dear brother Wajid, thank you so much for this information. I did not realise they are so biased. Coming back to Dr Aafia, I would urge all Pakistanis to collectively pray for the release of Dr Aafia. Miracles do happen and no one can resist Allah’s might. After all Dr Aafia has not been charged with terrorism, has not killed or even assaulted anyone, is highly intelligent, has been sentenced to 86 years for what?, has been repeatedly degraded, forced into plastic surgery and her organs removed forcibly. This enormous injustice needs to be urgently corrected.

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  • Sexton Blake
    Oct 14, 2014 - 10:12AM

    @salim: Good knowledge of gun handling.
    Right. I guess this means that after 12 hours in pistol shooting practice about ten years ago Dr A Siddiqui can also handle US helicopter gun ships and f-35s if Lockheed Martin ever get them to fly..

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