Wednesday, August 6, 2008


In 2003, Newsweek published this story, full of mistakes and/or lies.

Today, Aafia Siddiqui has been confirmed to be in American custody, and may have spent the last 5 years as the mysterious and mentally disturbed "Grey Lady of Bagram." The whereabouts of her 3 children, who disappeared on the same day as her, are still unknown.

Some actual journalism (consisting of more than taking dictation from government officials) was done by Katherine Osment of Boston Magazine.

What happened to Aafia Siddiqui and her children that day is anyone's guess. Siddiqui's mother, Ismet, claims that a few days after Siddiqui's disappearance, a man on a motorcycle arrived at her house in a leather suit and helmet and told her Aafia was being held and that she should keep quiet if she ever wanted to see her daughter and grandchildren again.

A report in the Pakistani Urdu press said that Siddiqui and her kids had been seen being picked up by Pakistani authorities and taken into custody. Even a spokesman for Pakistan's interior ministry and two unnamed U.S. officials confirmed this in the press. Several days later, however, Pakistani and American officials mysteriously backtracked, saying it was unlikely that Siddiqui was in custody.

Today she stands accused of shooting a US soldier with his own gun, having miraculously reappeared in Afghanistan.

The lies are maddening.


On another note, I came across this from a friend who is currently attending the 17th International AIDS conference in Mexico City.

Since I am unfamiliar with the background, I cannot vouch for the content or the claims being made, except to say that I agree with this statement:

"The Iranian government must demonstrate that the current allegations are credible and ensure that the Alei brothers have access to legal counsel,” said Joe Amon, Director of the Health and Human Rights division at Human Rights Watch. “And they must recognize that these charges stifle the country’s efforts to effectively address AIDS and to serve as a model for the region."

. . . and that HRW (who have yet to steer me wrong) have also issued a statement to similar effect. For whatever good it might do, I signed the petition (and encourage you to consider it).

If you are the praying sort, please remember Dr. Siddiqui and the Alei brothers in your heart.

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