Claim: The Afghan Taliban government has made a deal with the US government for the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, in exchange for seven American prisoners from Afghanistan. Aafia Siddiqui has reached Kabul. 

Fact: Siddqui has not been released and no agreement regarding her release has been made between the US government and the Afghan Taliban.

On 16 May 2024, social media users on X (formerly Twitter), and Threads posted about the same claim about Aafia Siddiqui:

امریکی حکومت کے افغان طالبان کیساتھ مذاکرات۔

وزیر خارجہ افغان ستان سے ٹیلیفونک رابطہ جاری

خبروں کے مطابق امریکہ اپنے 7 فوجی قیدیوں کے بدلے لالا عبدالرحیم اور محترمہ عافیہ صدیقی کو رہا کرنے پر آمادہ ہو گیا ہے،

آئندہ چند دنوں تک اچھی خبر آ سکتی ہے

[Translation: The American government has conducted negotiations with the Afghan Taliban. The Foreign Affairs minister of Afghanistan is talking on the phone. According to reports, America is willing to exchange Aafia Siddiqui and Lala Abdul Raheem for seven American prisoners. In the next few days we will hear some good news.]

The same claim was made earlier on 8 and 9 May 2024 on Facebook.

A few days later, the posts on X and Threads claimed that the process was complete and that Aafia Siddiqui had reached Kabul: 


افغان طالبان حکومت نے

امریکہ سے ڈیل میں

ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی اور لالہ عبد الرحیم 

کے بدلے میں  

سات امریکی قیدی رہا کر دئیے

طالبان کی عظمت کو سلام 

ڈاکٹر عافیہ صدیقی کابل پہنچ گئی  ہیں۔

#Credit to 


[Translation: Good News. Afghan Taliban have completed their deal with America. The US will release Aafia Siddiqui and Lala Abdul Raheem in exchange for seven American prisoners. Salutations to the majesty of the Taliban. Dr Aafia Siddiqui has reached Kabul.]

In 2010, Siddiqui was convicted in a US court for trying to kill American soldiers and FBI agents in Afghanistan. She was sentenced to 86 years in prison in Federal District Court in Manhattan. This resulted in a nationwide protest in various cities in Pakistan. 

Fact or Fiction?

Soch Fact Check reviewed all mainstream American news websites including but not limited to CNN, The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, NBC News, and others. We did not find any credible news reports published in May 2024 confirming or even announcing that a deal such as the one mentioned in the claim is in process or has been reached.

In addition to this, Dr Fowzia Siddiqui, who is Aafia Siddiqui’s sister and the leader of the movement organising in support of the Pakistani neuroscientist, aiming for her release, posted a clarification on Twitter, now X. She shared a screenshot of a news report with the following caption:

“These Rumours are hurtful and a cause of agonising pain for our family and hindering our efforts to get her release. Kindly refrain from spreading anything about #Aafia unless you see it on @Aafiamovement @CliveSSmith @FowziaSiddiqui 

Thank you all for your love and support.”

The news report screenshot that she has attached to the tweet includes the headline, “Dr Fowzia denies rumours about release of Aafia Siddiqui.” The report below it states that the Chairperson of the Global Aafia Movement and neurophysician Dr Fowzia Siddiqui has denied the rumours about the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui and said that she is still imprisoned in FMC Carswell in the United States of America. The report cites, “In a statement here, she said that the rumours about the release of Aafia have spread like a jungle fire, which shows that people not only in Pakistan but also in other countries badly wait to hear the news about her release.” 

We also reached out to Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, who confirmed Dr Fowzia Siddiqui’s clarification and told us that no such agreement, as mentioned in the claim, regarding Aafia Siddiqui’s release has been reached.


On Threads, the claim received more than 515 interactions. 

On Facebook, the claim was shared here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Conclusion: Dr Aafia Siddiqui is not being released. 

Background image in cover photo: Disrupt Magazine

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