Author: Alex Harrison
Article was published in Australian News paper Greenleft Online on 28th Nov 2009.
In 2003, Siddiqui and her children disappeared after being taken from their home in Pakistan as part of the US-led “war on terror”. The whereabouts of her children remain unknown.
In August 2008, US officials claimed she had been in their custody only since July 2008, even though she had disappeared five years earlier.
Siddiqui’s lawyer, Elaine Whitfield Sharp, said Siddiqui was held in the US-run Bagram prison camp in Afghanistan for “a long time”, where she encountered terrible torture and abuse, according to advocacy organisation Cageprisoners. US officials have strenuously denied that Siddiqui was ever held in Bagram.
However, former Bagram detainees Moazzam Begg and Binyam Mohammed have said they saw her while detained there.
Siddiqui, who was extradited to the US from Afghanistan, faces serious terrorism-related charges.
US officials claim she was arrested with explosive manuals and “dangerous substances sealed in jars”, and intended to bomb the compound of the governor of the Afghan province of Ghazni. However, Cageprisoners has described the inconsistencies in the US’s allegations as “strange at best”.
Siddiqui’s lawyer has raised concerns about her many health problems, including slight brain damage, a lost kidney and injured intestines.
Despite this, she must endure humiliating strip and cavity searches before appearing in court or receiving visitors other than her lawyers.
Surely, this woman has endured enough through her years of illegal detention and torture, as well as the unexplained whereabouts of her children.
[Cageprisoners’s report exploring the detention and treatment of Siddiqui, “Aafia Siddiqui: A case of lies and inconsistencies”, can be downloaded from .]