The Harrowing Saga of the Grey Lady of Bagram Jail

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Fida Firdous

There are reports of a woman called prisoner No. 650, who was being detained in Afghanistan’s Bagram prison and that she has been tortured to the point where she has lost her mind. Presently, in a US federal institution known as FMC Carwell under a condition that violates the US constitution guarantee against cruel and usual punishment. Britain’s Lord Nazeer Ahmad ( of the House of Lords), asked the question in the House about the conditions of female prisoner 650, who according to him, is being physically tortured and her dignity violated by the prison authorities, has no separate toilet facilities and has to attend to her bathing and bowel movements in full view of the other prisoners.
The prisoner women No.650, who has been called as the “Grey Lady of Bagram”, is no one else than Dr. Aafiya Siddiqui, who has been forcibly and allegedly handed over to US intelligence without finding her guilty of any crime. A British journalist, Ms Ridly, on a visit to Bagram detention centre in Afghanistan, found the Pakistani lady, and later disclosed the unknown truth. Dr. Aafiya Siddiqui has transformed over four years into a ghost like shape, who kept all prisoners awake with her hunting sobs and piercing screams.
In 2005, male prisoners were so agpalled by her plight, crying and shouting that they went on a hunger strike for six days. This, in a way, reflects the extreme cunningness and brutality of American imperialism and domination. After 9/11, Afghanistan, in particular, in general, Muslims becomes the victim of American subjugation. Dr. Aafiya Siddiqui, being of a Muslim background, was in America in wrong times. The frail neuroscientist, with an educated and civilized background, who studied at one of the reputed Massachusetts Institute of Technology for about ten years and did her PhD in genetics, returning to Pakistan in 2002.
Dr. Aafiya, was shifted and handed over to Americans in very suspicious and mysterious conditions and circumstances. She has never been given a chance to prove her innocence in defense. The allegedly charge against Dr Aafiya Siddiqui was neither solid or credible; to the extent, she may get life imprisonment and torture. No physical evidence or finger prints has shown Dr Aafiya to be involved in the case charged by the US army and court. The US judiciary sentenced her to 86 years in prison for which a huge national wide protests and demonstrations was held against Parvez Musharaf for the arrest of an innocent scientist. How strange, when a single woman in the presence of two FBI agents, two army interpreters and three US army officers snatched a rifle and opened fire at close range hit no one; yet, she alone was severely wounded, was one of the charges against Dr Aafiya. Reportedly, the charges against Dr Aafiya have been concocted and bogus.
The role of Parvez Musharaf, in handing over Dr Aafiya, regarded as the daughter of Pakistani Nation without investigation in (to the) hands of (Previous) US Bush government demonstrates supineness against Western (read American) pressure. Leadership in Pakistan since its inception in 1947 has repeatedly failed to emancipate Pakistan from the intellectuals, political and economic subjugation of colonialist powers.
In modern times, Dr. Aafiya is one of America’s most aggrieved victims. I am not able to express the brutal and inhuman treatment of Dr Aafiya in from Bagram prison to US FMC, the worst jail in the world. She may or may not be evolved in the case. Where are International Human Rights Organizations? Where is the International Red Cross Society? Where is International Criminal Court of Justice? Where is the Islamic world? Where is American’s statue of liberty and equality? Where is Parvez Musharaf? Why are we celebrating world women’s day when we can’t save their respect honor and dignity? Why are these International organizations silent and blind for those who don’t belong to the West?

—The author can be reached at: Fidafirdous8@gmail.com

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