Religious students in Pakistan protest the conviction of a U.S.-trained

Pakistan nuclear scientist, who is thought to have links to al-Qaeda.



The Nation, Pakistan

Siddiqui Verdict Shows Folly of American Justice


"The U.S. justice system is supposed to be one of the things for which the War on Terror is being fought. Dr. Aafia Siddiqui's trial, however, shows it, particularly its much-vaunted trial by jury, as defective."




February 12, 2010


Pakistan - The Nation - Original Article (English)

Protests broke out across Pakistan, after the conviction in a New York court of Aafia Siddiqui, a neuroscientist thought by the U.S. to be tied to Al-Qaeda.


Al-Jazeera TV, Qatar: The case against Aafia Siddiqui, Aug. 6, 2008, 00:03:01RealVideo

The verdict in the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui has demonstrated to all and sundry the flawed nature of the American justice system, particularly its much-vaunted trial by jury, which is supposedly incorruptible and leads to the rule of law. The U.S. justice system is supposed to be one of the things for which the War on Terror is being fought. Dr. Siddiqui's trial, however, shows it as defective. It allows the fate of a human being to be placed in the hands of a jury of his or her peers - a jury that may be influenced by affairs of state. Composed of laypeople, the American jury very much depends on a summing up by a judge, who is meant to be a legal professional and thus likely to be influenced by the type of affairs of state at work in Dr. Siddiqui's case. The fact that affairs of state are too often an excuse to avoid embarrassing a blundering civil servant is yet another matter.



The Nation, Pakistan: U.S. 'Persecution' of Aafia Siddiqui Shames Pakistan


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[Editor's Note: According to Wikipedia and The New York Times, Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, born 1972 in Karachi, Pakistan, is a Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University trained neuroscientist. She is accused of being a member of al-Qaeda and assaulting with a deadly weapon and attempting to kill U.S. troops and FBI agents who sought to interrogate her while she was in custody. After three days of deliberations on February 2, a jury in U.S. District Court in Manhattan found her guilty of all seven counts against her, including attempted murder. She faces life in prison when she is sentenced in May.]



One consequence of the Siddiqui case is that anti-American sentiment has jumped in a country that has never been as pro-American as its government has shown itself to be by its obsequious cooperation. For many Pakistanis, the Siddiqui case has revealed the limits of American rule of law and the U.S. justice system. That Pakistanis didn't expect Dr. Siddiqui to receive a fair trial is also a negative comment on Pakistan's justice system, where affairs of state that don't lead to a fair trial abound, and even though in Pakistan the system depends on judgments by professionals - not amateurs. Furthermore, the case has also shown that Pakistanis, even if they hold a doctorate from one of the America's leading universities, can't expect a fair trial even at the hands of a jury. Or rather - especially at the hands of a jury.


In Pakistan, the case is assuming the nature of a cause célèbre, and is being called Pakistan's own Dreyfus case. There are many differences in the two situations, the biggest being the divisiveness of the Dreyfus case - and the lack thereof in this one. While the case of Dr. Siddiqui hasn't divided Pakistani society, the Dreyfus case divided France between Catholic and non-Catholic, liberal and conservative, and clerical and anti-clerical. The lack of Pakistani confidence that Dr. Siddiqui is guilty of the crimes she is accused of and that she received a fair trial should indicate to Washington that, so far at least, it has lost the battle for Pakistani hearts and minds. 



A French-Jewish artillery officer, Alfred Dreyfus was wrongly convicted of treason in 1894 and recieved a life sentence until his innocence was proven and he was released in 1896.

[Editor's Note: Alfred Dreyfus [photo left] was a French military officer and a Jew, who was accused of being a German spy. Dreyfus' treatment was the single biggest reason cited by Theodor Herzl for promoting the idea of a Jewish homeland, an idea called Zionism. Sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly having communicated French military secrets to the German Embassy in Paris, Dreyfus was sent to Devil's Island in French Guiana. In the case of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, she faces life in prison and, according to many Pakistanis, was innocent. But while the Dreyfus case divided French society, the author points out that the Siddiqui case unites Pakistanis.]

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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US February 12, 4:38am]


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