On 20th March 2011, one of our dedicated volunteers will be taking part in the Reading Half-Marathon, UK, with the intention of raising money for the Justice for Aafia Coalition (JFAC).
The Justice for Aafia Coalition (JFAC) was formed in the wake of Aafia’s conviction in February 2010 by a group of Muslim women activists in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and Saudi Arabia. JFAC is an umbrella organization which aims to unite and coordinate efforts on behalf of all concerned individuals and organizations striving for justice for Aafia and her children. Membership is open to all, irrespective of faith and location and currently spans five continents.
Your sponsorship will contribute towards legal efforts to secure the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui. Dr Aafia's family have estimated that approximately $200,000 could be required for an appeal in the US courts, and a minimum of $10,000 per month to finance the general legal and advocacy efforts of lawyers of their choosing.
Please get in touch with your pledges. Any contributions you can make, however small, will be greatly appreciated.
For further information about the Reading Half Marathon visit their official website.
The 2011 Course
The race starts in Green Park, 250m from the race site at Madejski Stadium. The route will be exactly the same as in 2010. Starting at GreenPark , A33 to Bennet Road , Basingstoke Road to Hartland Road, Whitley Wood Road to Shinfield Road and follow the old route to the Reading University loop. Turning right out of the university the route continues along Christchurch Road to Kendrick Road and down into the town centre via London Road, London Street and Mill Lane. A left turn takes the course over the Kennet and past The Oracle complex, then right into Minster Street and right into Kings Road as far as Abbey Square where it takes left and passes under Abbey Gate to the Forbury Gardens (half way). From Abbey Street the route loops round the old Town Hall and into Friar Street, left into West Street and right onto the Oxford Road as far as Russell Street (second climb) and then right into the Tilehurst Road. The route follows the Tilehurst Road to Lienbenrood Road and Prospect Park before turning left into Bath Road and heads back towards the town before turning right into Coley Ave and then left into Berkley Ave. Another right into Rose Kiln Lane sees the course onto the A33 dual carriageway, it then heads for over a mile towards the Madejski Stadium; just before the stadium the route takes the customary right into GreenPark but only as far as the first roundabout and then returns back towards the Stadium and the finish. Following the GreenPark loop the race makes its way up and into the stadium finishing in front of the stands.
Entry limit: 16,500
Entry fees: £29.50
Start times: 10:00
Wheelchair Half Marathon
10:05 Half Marathon
Mementos: All finishers will receive a medal and goody bag
Aafia Siddiqui disappeared from Pakistan in March 2003 with her three young children, the youngest of whom was a few months old. She reappeared in 2008 when the US claimed she was found in Afghanistan with various manuals and dangerous substances. After being picked up she allegedly was able to get a gun from a soldier and fire (and miss) and then was shot herself by another soldier. She was then charged with attempted murder – after being extradited to the US to face trial. She was found guilty despite the flawed trial and evidence – i.e. no fingerprints, no gunshot residue, etc. She was sentenced to 86 years in prison. Since she reappeared two of her children have reappeared but the youngest remains missing. During the time she had disappeared – it is believed she was held in secret detention in the Bagram facility. Former detainees of the facility have said that she was there, including the former Guantanamo detainee Binyam Mohamed who was also kept in Bagram.