Brit female scribe says Dr Aafia's illegal detention a violation of int'l law

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Karachi, Nov 5 : A leading female British journalist has reportedly said that the new US President should close various torture cells, including Guantanamo Bay, where, she added, the condition of female inmates was miserable as they were abused, both physically and sexually.

Strongly taking up the case of Pakistani neuroscientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui, who is languishing in a US jail on "terror" charges, Marium Evon Raidley, the Brit journalist, said, "the illegal custody of 36-year old Dr Aafia Siddiqui is a blatant violation of international law".

Dr Siddiqui's whereabouts have been uncertain since 2003. According to Amnesty International, Dr Siddiqui and her three children were apprehended in Karachi in March 2003, after the FBI issued an alert requesting information on her location earlier that month.

Dr Aafia and her 12-year-old son were arrested in Ghazni, Afghanistan, on July 17 and American officials accuse her of trying to bomb the residence of Ghazni's provincial governor.

Dr Siddiqui is a Pakistani national and if there are any charges against her, she should have been tried in Afghanistan, the Daily Times quoted her as saying while addressing a press conference in Karachi.

A new man in the White House might make a difference, amid increasing pressure from the American public, she said and added: "I do not believe that the American people approve of the policies of the Bush administration."

Marium Ridley revealed that at least 150 children were dumped into orphanages in Afghanistan. "These were the children of those detained in torture cells in Afghanistan. She added that many women languishing in US torture cells in Afghanistan are regularly abused, both physically and sexually," she added.

"No civilised and law-abiding nation can approve of such actions," Ridley stated and added that even the officials at the Bagram Jail were uncomfortable because of the presence of children, as they were clueless as to how to deal with them.

She said that Pakistan is a determined nation "that will not rest until Dr Aafia Siddiqui and her children return to the country".

ANI

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