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Afghanistan: free Aafia Siddiqui’s 11-year-old son

Human Rights Watch (HRW) publicou onte unha nota de prensa centrada no caso dun neno de 11 anos, Ahmed Siddiqui, detido en Afganistán xunto coa súa nai, a quen se acusa de delictos relacionados co terrorismo. Ahmed, a pesar da súa idade, pasou a ser custodiado polos servizos de “intelixencia” de Afganistán, famosos pola súa brutalidade.

A nota de prensa leva por título “Afghanistan: Free Aafia Siddiqui’s 11-Year-Old Son. Child Is Too Young to Be Treated as Criminal Suspect”. Copio un extracto do seu contido:

The Afghan government should immediately relinquish 11-year-old Ahmed Siddiqui to the custody of his family, HRW said today. Siddiqui, a US citizen, is believed to be the son of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman held on US federal charges in New York.

The two were reportedly arrested together in Afghanistan last month.

According to an Afghan Interior Ministry official quoted in the Washington Post, Ahmed Siddiqui was held briefly by the Interior Ministry after the arrest, and then transferred to the custody of the Afghan National Security Directorate (NDS), the country’s intelligence agency. His current whereabouts are unknown. The NDS is notorious for its brutal treatment of detainees.

“Under Afghan and international law, Ahmed Siddiqui is too young to be treated as a criminal suspect,” said Joanne Mariner, terrorism and counterterrorism program director at HRW. “He should never have been transferred to the custody of Afghanistan’s abusive intelligence agency.”

Afghan police reportedly arrested Aafia Siddiqui and her son in Ghazni, Afghanistan, on July 17, 2008. US federal prosecutors allege that the day after her arrest, while in Afghan custody, she grabbed a gun from the floor and fired it at a team of US soldiers and federal intelligence agents. In August, she was charged with assaulting and trying to kill US officials.

In a letter sent recently to Aafia Siddiqui’s family, US prosecutors said photos and DNA tests strongly suggested that the boy arrested with Siddiqui was her son Ahmed.

The federal complaint against Aafia Siddiqui states that the Afghan police officers who arrested her found suspicious items in her handbag, including “documents describing the creation of explosives, chemical weapons, and other weapons involving biological material and radiological agents.” Siddiqui’s lawyers reject the official account, suggesting that the charges against Siddiqui are a sham.

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.

According to Afghanistan’s Juvenile Code, the minimum age of criminal responsibility is 13. […]

28 Agosto 2008 - Posted by | Afghanistan, Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Politics, United States

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