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Attorney mum on Aafia’s children whereabouts

August 16, 2008

NEW YORK, Aug 15: Elizabeth Fink, the attorney for Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman charged by the US authorities with trying to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan, says that Aafia was tortured but keeps quiet on the whereabouts her children.

“The woman has been tortured,” Ms Fink said. “I believed she has been tortured based on my experience with people with post-traumatic stress disorder.”

On the crucial question about the whereabouts of Ms Siddiqui’s three children whose custody is being sought by Pakistani authorities, Ms Fink refused to comment suggesting that some issues could not be shared with the press.

When Pakistani consular officers met Ms Siddiqui last Saturday another defence attorney, Gideon Oliver, asked Ms Siddiqui not to speak about her children.

Later talking to Dawn he confirmed that he had stopped Ms Siddiqui from revealing any information about her children to Pakistani authorities.

Pakistan’s Deputy Consul General Saqib Rauf also said that Ms Siddiqui wanted to speak about her children but was restrained under advice of her counsel. “She kept on asking after the welfare of her mother and wanted to know about the political conditions in the country”, he said.