$70,000 Raised for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s Defense
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

Speakers at the Fundraiser

The American Muslim community in the SF Bay Area has raised about $70,000 for Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s defense. The money was raised at a fundraiser held by the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) which has established a special legal defense fund for Dr. Aafia who is currently in detention at the Carswell Federal Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas.

Addressing a gathering of about 300 guests at the Muslim Community Center of Santa Clara, Dr. Agha Saeed, President of Pakistan American Democratic Forum, urged the government of Pakistan to release the two million dollars it pledged for the legal defense of Dr. Aafia. He said that at least 1.7 million dollars are required for her defense.

Dr. Aafia’s brother, Dr. Muhammad Siddiqui, spoke about the ordeal of his family and

said that her mother had lost hope that Aafia was alive and she was sometimes going to various graveyards of Karachi to look for her grave.

Dr. Siddiqui said the family came to know about Dr. Aafia after five years when Moazzam Begg saw her in the US military detention camp in Bagram, Afghanistan. Her story was published in the British press.

Samina Faheem Sundas, Executive Director of American Muslim Voice, urged the governments of Pakistan and the USA to find out the whereabouts of the two missing children of Dr. Aafia. “This nightmare situation continues to haunt Aafia,” she added. It may be noted that Mariam, who would now be about nine years of age, is an American citizen while Suleman, who would now be about six years old, is a Pakistani national. Suleman was a few months old in March 2003 when Dr. Aafia disappeared along with her three kids.

Dr. Afia’s family has now officially partnered with MLFA to secure funding and prepare for an effective legal defense.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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