PAKISTAN: FBI is responsible for disappearances, illegal detention and torture
On 24th July the Asian Human Rights Commission issued an Urgent Appeal in the case of the disappearance of a lady doctor. The UA, PAKISTAN/USA: A lady doctor remains missing with her three children five years after her arrest, may be seen at: http://www.ahrchk.net/ua/mainfile.php/2008/2947/
The American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), initially admitted that they had arrested Dr. Afia and then later denied it. Now, due to the coverage of the UA both in Pakistan and internationally, the FBI has now announced that Dr. Afia Siddiqui is alive, she is in Afghanistan but she is injured. No further details have been provided and the AHRC is especially concerned about the three children who were also abducted along with her. It is reported that after receiving hundreds of responses to the UA initiated by the AHRC, the American and Pakistani authorities were compelled to issue information of the whereabouts of Afia Siddiqui who had been missing for five years after being arrested by the Pakistani Intelligence Agency. Acting on the information received, the AHRC in its appeal suspected that Dr. Afia is being kept in Bagram jail, Afghanistan, and that because of severe torture, had lost her mind. At this point people responded in their hundreds which pressured the American authorities. On 1st August an FBI official visited the house of Dr. Afias brother in Houston to deliver the news that she is alive and in custody, Ms. Elaine Whitfield Sharp, Dr. Afias lawyer, said that FBI officials would not say exactly who is holding her or reveal the fate of her three young, American-born children.
It is also reported that after filing a habeas corpus writ petition in the Islamabad High Court, Dr. Afias friends and relatives were threatened by several state agencies of Pakistan to withdraw the case or face the same situation.
After the confirmation from the American FBI that she is in Afghanistan and that she is injured, the entire responsibility for Dr. Afias abduction, being held incommunicado for five years, her torture, illegal detention, illegal handing over to a foreign country and the fate of her three children, lies squarely with the FBI and Pakistani state agencies, particularly the Pakistani ISI, who is currently threatening the family members to remain silent.
The Asian Human Rights Commission urges the UN Human Rights Commission and other Human Rights offices to start an immediate probe into the illegal arrest and detention of Dr. Afia and immediately investigate the situation of the children. The government of America, Afghanistan and Pakistan must bring the perpetrators of such gross human rights violations to trial. NATO, America and its allied forces should be asked to immediately release Dr. Afia Siddiqui and her three children and provide mental and physical rehabilitation to the victims along with substantial compensation.