An interesting update on the controversial Dr. Afia Siddiqui case, the Pakistani woman currently held on U.S. federal charges in New York but who is also suspected of being Prisoner 650, a prisoner-of-war who was held in U.S. prison in Afghanistan for the past few years, [see related posts]. Siddiqui allegedly disappeared in Karachi along with her three children in early 2003. Although Dr. Siddiqui only reappeared after her reported arrest in Afghanistan last month [she was accused of assaulting and attempting to kill U.S. officers], the whereabouts of her children were still unknown. However, the Daily Times reported today that U.S. authorities said an 11 year old boy who was captured with Siddiqui last month is her son Ahmed. According to the Washington Post, “The boy was detained July 18 when Afghan police arrested Siddiqui in what they described as a shootout near a government compound in Ghazni.”
The Daily Times cited Siddiqui’s attorney, Elizabeth Fink, who said that Siddiqui will petition a federal court to have Ahmed placed in the custody of her brother in Texas. Until then, human rights groups have responded strongly to news of Siddiqui’s young son in U.S. custody. In a press release, Human Rights Watch asserted, “Whether or not his mother is implicated in criminal acts, Ahmed Siddiqui should not be held responsible. Under both Afghan and international law, he is too young to be considered criminally responsible for his mother’s alleged acts.” Moreover, the organization “expressed concern not only for Ahmed Siddiqui, but also for two siblings, Mariam, age 10, and Suleman, age 5, who have been missing since March 2003.”
CHUP will continue to cover developments related to the Afia Siddiqui case. Her court hearing will continue on September 3, 2008 at 2:00 pm [EST] in New York City.