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Dr Aafia still alive: US prison spokesperson

By Huma Imtiaz

June 20th 2012




WASHINGTON: An official for the holding facility where neuroscientist Dr Afia Siddiqui is being kept, has denied rumours of her death.

Speaking to The Express Tribune on Wednesday, Dr Maria Douglas, a spokesperson for Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas where Dr Siddiqui is serving her prison sentence, vehemently denied rumours and said that it was absolutely false that Dr Siddiqui had passed away, adding that no medical emergency has arisen.

Earlier, text messages were circulating in Pakistan claiming that Dr Siddiqui had passed away at the prison facility.

Dr Siddiqui, a neuroscientist by profession and a graduate of MIT, allegedly went missing for five years before she was discovered in Afghanistan. The prosecution says that she tried to fire on a US soldier during her interrogation. She has also been accused of working for al Qaeda.

Her family disputes the US version of this account. She was sentenced to 86 years in prison in 2010 by a New York court.

A statement issued by the Embassy of Pakistan said that they and the Pakistani Consulate General in Texas are in regular contact with the FMC Carswell authorities regarding Dr Aafia Siddiqui. “At our query, the prison authorities confirmed today that Dr Siddiqui was quite well. She is also in regular telephone contact with her family and, according to the authorities, last telephoned her family on 19 June 2012.”

“An officer from the Pakistan Consulate General in Houston visits Dr Siddiqui at the FMC prison regularly. The last such visit took place in April 2012. Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s brother has also visited her in prison,” said the press release.

Originally published by Tribune Pakistan

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