KARACHI: Addressing the press conference along with Aafia Siddiqui’s sister, Fauzia Siddiqui, lawyer Clive Stafford Smith said Aafia, who was ‘abducted’ in 2003, “holds no special importance for the US” and it’s the government of Pakistan that didn’t do enough to bring her back, the Dawn reported.
Clive Stafford Smith is the lawyer who paved way for the return of two Pakistani brothers — Abdul Rabbani and Ahmed Rabbani — who were detained at the Guantanamo Bay prison for the last 20 years. They were released and returned to Pakistan last week.
Responding to a question, he said if Shakeel Afridi had to be traded for Siddiqui’s release, the Pakistani authorities should do it. Afridi has been incarcerated for more than a decade after he was accused of helping the US in tracing the Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden who was killed in Abbottabad in 2012.prisoner
As reported by Dawn news, Smith called on the Pakistan government to consider ‘prisoner swap’ for her release, while revealing horrific details of torture endured by Gitmo detainees.
“If the Rabbani brothers [Abdul and Ahmed Rabbani] can be brought back, why not her,” he was quoted as saying in the report.
Smith said he had visited Siddiqui in January at the Federal Medical Centre, Carswell in Texas where she was being detained.
“I have engaged with over 80 Guantanamo Bay prisoners, but not one was in the condition as bad as her,” he said.He added that although the facility was a “medical centre”, in reality, it was as “ghastly as the other prisons in the US”.
He said the commitment from the government and media support was needed to bring the incarcerated doctor back.
He said 546 prisoners have been released from Guantanamo Bay, of which only one was released by courts. “The remaining 545 got their freedom through pressure exerted by the media and journalists,” he said.
Fauzia said the last time she ever heard any report about her imprisoned sister was in 2016.
“Since then, we have had no contact with her. We used to hear that she had died, but it was finally this year in January when Clive met her, we came to know that she is alive,” she was quoted as saying in the Dawn report.
Further, according to the Dawn, she added that Siddiqui was subjected to many types of torture but the brutal act of “taking children away from a mother” was the worst of all.
FMC Carswell is a high-security prison, and Aafia Siddiqui is slated to spend the rest of her life there, under US law, she will be well over 100 years old before she is eligible for release. Life expectancy in US prisons hovers around 60.
She also said her six-month-old nephew had gone missing and to this day he hadn’t been found.
“We want to make this a movement with a momentum that does not end until Aafia is back,” she said. Speaking to Dawn, Smith said Ahmed Rabbani was a skilled artist and an adept chef, the skills he learnt during his detention.
The lawyer added that he is planning to hold an exhibition of Ahmed Rabbani’s artwork depicting his time in detention.
“He made an imaginary Guantanamo Bay as he never saw it since they always kept him blindfolded,” he said.
“We also have a great Guantanamo Cook Book coming along based on Ahmed’s recipes. The recipes are named after 62 torture methods he went through.”
Smith also revealed horrific details about the torture inflicted upon the two brothers which left them with inexplicable physical and psychological trauma. He said the brothers were getting therapy which they would need for a long time to normally integrate into society.
Detailing one of the torture techniques, Mr Smith said the inmates were subjected to the strappado, a medieval punishment in which a person is tied from shoulders and left hanging on tiptoes.
“This was one of the 62 torture techniques the Rabbanis faced,” he said. “They were left hanging like that for weeks.”
He added that Eminem’s song White America used to be blared at full volume for days to torture the inmates. Mr Smith, who was the brothers’ lawyer for the last 15 years, said Ahmed Rabbani’s son Jawwad, who is now 20 years old, was born seven months after his father was abducted. “At that time, Ahmed Rabbani didn’t even know his wife was pregnant.”
Siddiqui is serving an 86-year prison sentence for shooting at US service members. She had been arrested in connection with an alleged Al Qaeda plot before she grabbed a soldier’s M4 and opened fire on her interrogators. She missed.
David Grantham, a law enforcement professional with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office and author of “Consequences: An Intelligence Officer’s War,” said the police can also learn lessons from the case to improve their ability to thwart future attacks.
“If we see these trends in the future, anything like this, we need to consider that there could be violent action associated with this organized online activity,” he told Fox News Digital.
“So that’s the most basic fundamental thing that law enforcement will look at from this report,” he added. (ANI)