Rescue Farida now, jailed in India for over 6 months, due to 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.
- Press coverage: Washington Post and San Jose Mercury News articles.
After an honest mistake, our dear sister, Farida Malik (a US citizen and California resident) was unnecessarily jailed in India in July 2019. Despite efforts to have her released by the US Embassy and local lawyers, the magistrate in control of her case refuses to release her. 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 on a tourist 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 Almora, India. She's been there ever since (although she was reunited with her valid US passport back in August 2019). Her friends and family are very concerned for her life, safety and well-being. She has not been allowed to speak with them.
The US Embassy in Delhi, the US Ambassador to India, and the US State Department in Washington, DC are all well aware of this case. The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has been continuously lobbied and is well aware of the case too. So far it's all for naught. And none of these interests appear to have done much at all. Farida made an honest mistake and the punishment, it seems to us, far exceeds her inadvertent offense. To us, this is a miscarriage of justice.
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 and continues to love India.
For a heartbreakingly long time 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, with the Himalayan winter having descended in full force. She has an injured back and overall not in great health due to her incarceration. She does not have regular access to her medications or adequate medical treatment.
Our ask of the US and Indian governments:
Take action now! Have Farida released and deported back home to USA immediately. She has suffered more than enough.
Our ask of you, dear reader:
- Please sign this petition (and add comments) to help increase awareness of Farida's plight.
- Then share this petition (email, Facebook, LinkedIn, text, Twitter, etc.) with your friends and family and with your elected government officials in the US and India.
Farida's family and friends
p.s. If you want to privately send your thoughts, prayers, comments, and/or suggestions, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ever grateful.
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