May 29, 2022

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Who Is Aafia Siddiqui? Synagogue Attack Renews Focus on Pakistani Neuroscientist Imprisoned in Texas

2 min read

During Saturday’s synagogue attack in Colleyville, Texas, the gunman Malik Faisal Akram repeatedly called for the release of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, who is serving an 86-year sentence in a U.S. federal prison located just miles from the synagogue. Siddiqui was convicted in 2010 on charges that she intended to kill U.S. military officers while being detained in Afghanistan two years earlier. However, many questions remain unanswered about her time in U.S. custody, and her conviction was secured without physical evidence and on U.S. officials’ testimony alone, says Siddiqui’s lawyer, Marwa Elbially. Elbially says there’s a false impression of Siddiqui in the U.S. as a terrorist, even though terrorist charges were never brought against her, and Pakistan officials have voiced concern about her arrest and detention. We also speak with Mauri’ Saalakhan, director of operations for The Aafia Foundation, who calls Siddiqui’s case an unprecedented miscarriage of justice.

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