On Friday, police beat protesters with batons, used water cannons, and fired tear gas canisters to disperse people marching toward the U.S. Consulate in Karachi.
About a dozen activists, including the sister of Aafia Siddiqui, Dr. Fouzia Siddiqui, were arrested.
The detainees were charged with attempting to enter the “red zone” of the city. The protesters were holding placards and banners bearing anti-U.S. slogans. They also denounced the Pakistani government for taking a hands-off approach in dealing with the Siddiqui issue.
The demonstrators had announced their intention to besiege the U.S. Consulate to highlight the plight of Siddiqui, who is currently detained at the Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, which provides specialized medical and mental health services to female prisoners.
In September 2010, a court in New York sentenced Siddiqui to 86 years in prison after she was found guilty of opening fire on FBI agents and U.S. military personnel in a police station in Ghazni, Afghanistan, where she was being interrogated in 2008.
The mother of three vanished in Karachi with her three children on March 30, 2003. The following day, local newspapers reported that she had been abducted by U.S. forces and charged with terrorism.
Human rights groups say that Siddiqui had secretly been transferred to the U.S. base in Bagram, north of Kabul, and tortured for five years prior to the alleged incident in 2008. She was taken to the U.S. in July 2008 and was convicted in a New York court in February 2010.
In Karachi on Friday, a spokesman for the protest march expressed resentment over the arrest of their leaders and called for their immediate release.
He said the demonstrators’ intentions were completely peaceful but the police deliberately created a chaotic situation by using excessive force against the protesters, led by Dr. Fouzia Siddiqui.
According to one report, she was later released.
Source: Tehran Times