Rescue Farida, jailed in India for 130+ days over an honest mistake
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- Petition supporters in the United States: Please write to your elected officials in your state (letter template here) on behalf of Farida. It can be as easy as copy-and-paste into a web form or a mailed letter. Greater numbers will make a difference.
- A GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up to cover significant legal, advocacy, repatriation, and PTSD treatment costs to help Farida return safely home to USA and recover from her ordeal. Instead of donating to this website, please consider contributing at GoFundMe. Thank you.
- Press coverage: Washington Post article (PDF here) and San Jose Mercury News article.
After an honest mistake, our dear sister, Farida Malik (a US citizen and California resident) was unexpectedly and unnecessarily jailed in India on 12 July 2019. Despite many efforts to have her released, she's been stuck there for over 130 days. She's being held in poor health in a remote jail built in the 1800s, high in the mountains, near the India-Nepal border in Uttarakhand state. She’s been separated from her belongings and not allowed to speak on the phone with family or friends.
She was traveling by bus from Kathmandu, Nepal to Delhi, India to meet friends and mistakenly thought that she could get a visa at the border. Unfortunately, she had also forgotten her valid US passport in her hotel in Nepal. Although she could've been turned away at the border and told to remain in Nepal, instead Indian border check guards arrested and imprisoned her in India. She's been there ever since (although she was reunited with her valid US passport back in August), now for over 130 days. Her friends and family are very concerned for her life, safety and well-being. She has not been allowed to speak with them.
Local attorneys have been hired in India since August; and the US Embassy in Delhi, the US Ambassador to India, and the US State Department in Washington, DC have all been involved. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has been lobbied and is well aware of the case too. And it has all been woefully inadequate as no one yet has been able to secure her release. Farida made an honest mistake and has been paying for it now for over 130 days in jail.
Farida loves everything about India, especially its culture, music, movies, and food. A few years ago, she earned a certificate from Asian Academy of Film & Television (AAFT) acting school in Noida, India and has friends there. She was on her way to meet them when things went horribly wrong. Farida believes in the power of music to bridge cultural divides. Despite her horrible ordeal, her lawyers say she is doing her best to remain positive.
For over 4 months now, she has been awaiting a court date that will render a decision on her case, but this date keeps slipping (an unfortunate yet common occurrence in Indian courts). Meanwhile she's languishing in poor health in a cold jail, without heat, now with the Himalayan winter there. She has an injured back (herniated discs) and overall not in great health due to her incarceration. She does not have regular access to her medications.
Our ask: US and Indian authorities, take action, have her released and deported back home to USA immediately. She has suffered enough.
Please sign this petition below to show your support, add your comments too, and help raise awareness of Farida's plight. Please forward this petition to your networks, and to your elected representatives in the US and India. Thank you!
Farida's family and friends
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