US ruling on scientist woman triggers Pakistan protests / PHOTO

Most backs her, saying that the U.S. fabricated the charges and held her in secret.

US ruling on scientist woman triggers Pakistan protests / PHOTO

Pakistan will take all steps to secure the release and return home of a Pakistani scientist found guilty of trying to kill American agents in Afghanistan, a government spokesman said on Thursday.

Aafia Siddiqui, who disappeared for five years before her arrest in Afghanistan, was convicted in a New York court on Wednesday.

Siddiqui, who was arrested in 2008, was accused of grabbing a US serviceman's rifle and opening fire on her American interrogators, who returned fire.


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While none of the US agents or personnel were injured, Siddiqui was shot in the incident.

Before her arrest, Siddiqui had been missing for five years, during which time her family alleges she was held at the US military's Bagram airbase in Afghanistan.

Both the US and the Pakistani authorities deny that Siddiqui was in custody before her arrest in 2008 in the town of Ghazni.

Siddiqui is a U.S.-trained neuroscientist who spent years living in the United States, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Protests

Thousands of Pakistanis have staged rallies against her conviction. Most backs her, saying that the U.S. fabricated the charges and held her in secret.


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Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told a regular briefing the government would "do its best" to secure Siddiqui's release.

"The ultimate objective is to get her back to Pakistan and we would do everything possible and we'll apply all possible tools in this regard," Basit said.

President Asif Ali Zardari said he was concerned about the outcome of the trial.


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"The president was concerned about the verdict and expressed the hope that justice will ultimately be done as the case passes through subsequent stages in the U.S. judicial system," the president's spokesman said in a statement.

Pakistanis protesting against Siddiqui's conviction chanted slogans against the United States.

Protests were also held in the capital, Islamabad, and the eastern city of Multan.

Agencies

Last Mod: 04 Şubat 2010, 16:24
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