At a rally for Dr. Aafia, Pakistani security forces arrested and violently intercepted thousands of protesters wishing to stage a peaceful demonstration. According to reports, Dr. Fauzia, sister of Dr. Aafia was beaten by security forces and sustained facial injuries. She was first removed to an undisclosed detention center then transferred to a police station. Several others were also injured and detained.
According to details, the rally, bound for US consulate, was intercepted by riot police on Abdullah Haroon Road. Upon resistance police water-cannon, baton, and teargas squads jumped into action to disperse the protesters. Following the brutal arrest of Dr Fowzia Siddiqui was released on the orders of Governor Sindh Dr Isharat-ul-Ebad, along with other Aafia Movement supporters earlier today at a rally at the US Consulate, Karachi, the majority have thankfully been released from custody.
The following update was provided by a member of the Siddiqui family:
I just spoke with Fowzia. She was injured, deliberately and with malice, but has now been released. They released her early but she did not leave until all workers being detained were also released. The main violent attack took place after the demonstration was broken up and media was leaving. Then a wave of security vehicles came and attackers were special unit security forces and witnesses say they came from the direction of the US consulate but were in local police uniforms.
Many were injured. Several severely and are hospitalized. Altaf Shakoor had both arms broken. The Aafia Movement photographer had his head smashed in and his camera destroyed. Four people are still missing. Mohammad, Fowzia’s son, was taken into custody, had his clothes ripped and sent home with a “message” for Fowzia to shut up or else worse will happen next time.
Why the government reacted this way to a routine demonstration and who ordered the final attack are questions that are still to be answered.