Dr. Aafia Siddiqui was found guilty on seven charges in a courtroom where her destiny was decided by 12 New York jurors. A family member of Aafia’s stated:
“Today marks the close of another sad chapter in the life of our sister, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. Today she was unjustly found guilty. Though she was not charged with any terrorism-related offense, Judge Berman permitted the prosecution’s witnesses to characterize our sister as a terrorist — which, based on copious evidence, she clearly is not. Today’s verdict is one of many legal errors that allowed the prosecution to build a case against our sister based on hate, rather than fact. We believe that as a result, she was denied a fair trial, and today’s verdict must be overturned on appeal.”
The event that took place last Sunday was a part of the Justice for Aafia Coalition’s global effort. The GTA chapter’s event took place at UTM where there was a screening of the documentary “Dr. Aafia Siddiqui—Prisoner 650.”
Next, Bayan Khatib, the translator of ‘Just Five Minutes: Nine Years in the Prisons of Syria’ shared the experiences of the author, Heba Dabbagh. In her story, Heba talks about the Mukhabarat agents who storm into her apartment and ask for five minutes of her time. Little did she know, these five minutes would turn into the longest nine years of her life. Throughout the book, Dabbagh shares her journey full of interrogation and torture and articulates stories of spies, children, cellmates and the oppression of thousands.
There was also a message from ex-Guantanamo detainee and British citizen, Moazzam Begg. His video message consisted of his experiences of torture and the importance for all of us to be aware of these incidents happening under the radar. This was also very moving because it once again showed us the vulnerability of all of us as citizens of Western countries.
Overall, the event was very well organized and very much needed to spread awareness of such issues. We need to come together in time of need for the greater community, and put every effort forth to use the resources we’ve been blessed with and speak up for justice.
Sister Aafia’s sentencing is scheduled for May 6, 2010. Please keep her and all of the oppressed in your duas.
Below is a 2 part link to the documentary