Concerned about the rising COVID-19 cases in the US prisons, Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s family moves court

Her sister said that healthcare is Aafia's fundamental right and hence must be ensured. 

The family of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui has moved the court for ‘proof of her wellbeing’ as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the prisons of the United States. The 47-year-old Pakistani neuroscientist is serving an 86-year jail term on terrorism charges.

Speaking to an international media outlet, Aafia’s sister and petitioner Fouzia Siddiqui said that they are very concerned about her health after seeing the news of the rising cases in the prisons of the United States.

“It’s very difficult for anyone to imagine our feelings right now,” Fouzia said while attending the hearing. Acting upon her petition, the Sindh High Court (SHC) issued notices to respondents Pakistan’s foreign office (FO) and the US consulate general in Karachi for the next hearing scheduled on the 16th of April.

“According to reports in American media, over 100,000 prisoners are expected to die of coronavirus in US prisons,” Fouzia said.

She added that the news has worried Aafia’s family more as they are not in contact with her for three years now. Concerned about her health, Fouzia took to the Sindh High Court last week, asking for proof of her health through a live video call. She added that healthcare is Aafia’s fundamental right and hence must be ensured.

In the petition, Fouzia maintained that ”a US Court illegally, unlawfully tried the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui because Aafia was a Pakistani citizen and she was handed over to the USA without any jurisdiction, forcibly and without giving her fair opportunity of trial, and later she was intentionally convicted for 86 years in prison without any justification and lawful reasons.”

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