Dr Fowzia Siddiqui, the sister of famed political prisoner Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, will be visiting the mother city on the 19th and 20th June to raise awareness to the detention and torture of her sister at the hands of US authorities. The visit is part of a countrywide tour of South Africa, and she will be joined by Altaf Shakoor, the leader of Pasban, a Pakistani socio-political organization aimed at lobbying support for victims of human rights violations.
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui was kidnapped by CIA personnel in 2003, and was reported to have been tortured at the organisations infamous Bagram prison in Afghanistan. She was detained on grounds of being in possession of notes containing information on bomb making. During her detention, she was accused and charged with attempted murder and assault, relating to an incident that occurred during an interrogation session. Human rights groups around the world have slammed the case against Siddiqui as baseless and a gross violation of human rights.
Dr Fowzia, who has actively campaigned for her sister’s release, will be hosted in Cape Town by the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC). She is expected to attend a number of events over the course of the two day visit, starting off with a programme on the evening of the 19th June at the Masjid al-Rawbie in Portlands, Mitchell’s Plain. This is part of a weekly campaign by the MJC at the mosque to raise awareness on the situation in Palestine and the plight of Masjid al-Aqsa. The programme will address the horrors of Siddiqui’s incarceration.
Discussing Dr. Siddiqui’s itinerary, MJC Media Liason Officer Nabeweya Mallick said Siddiqui would be visiting the notorious Robben Island prison on Friday morning, before giving a talk at a yet unconfirmed mosque in the city. She noted the MJC were also looking to hold discussions with Siddiqui, to get as much information around her sister’s detention as possible.
Mallick called Dr Aafia’s imprisonment as a a gross violation of human rights on various levels, and pointed out that it was symptomatic of the numerous crimes committed by the U.S.
Mallick said: “Here we have a woman who has been accused of and charged with crimes that have never been proven in a court of law. She remains in custody, even though there were never any real charges against her. The charges that were put forward are flimsy, and have no basis.”
According to Mallick, Siddiqui’s visit to the city was vital to raise awareness amongst local Muslims towards the atrocities committed by the US against so called prisoners of war.
“The case of Dr. Aafia makes us realise that Muslims are not always afforded justice, even though the so called champions of democracy parade to the world that they are there to ensure every human is free, and afforded human rights,” she said.
For more information on Dr. Fowzia Siddiqui’s visit, contact Nabeweya Mallick on 083 408 1157. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)