NEW YORK The head of an American human rights group has criticised the Pakistani Government for failing to push for the repatriation of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, as part of a prisoner exchange prior to sentencing. These were things that should have been put in place years ago and she will still be on the mind of all Pakistanis, Tina Foster, Chief Executive of the International Justice Network (IJN), which also represents Ms Siddiquis family, said. A US federal court in New York sentenced Pakistani neuroscientist scientist Aafia Siddiqui to 86 years in prison for attempting to kill US soldiers and agents while she was in custody in Afghanistan two years ago. The New York-based International Justice Network condemned as unfair and unjust the heavy sentence handed down to Ms Siddiqui by Judge Richard Berman, saying she had never caused harm to anyone. This case is not over. This is just the beginning, Ms Foster said, adding that the real importance of the case, her group believes, is that it draws attention to thousands of disappearances in Pakistan, mostly the work of Pakistani security forces. This sentence is not only unjust because of its harshness to Dr Siddiqui but also because of its impact on her two small children in Pakistan who may never see their mother again, Ms Foster said. But the greatest injustice of all is that those who are responsible for the kidnapping, disappearance and abuse of Dr Siddiqui and her children without cause have yet to answer for their actions. While todays sentence concludes a shameful chapter in American history, it is only a matter of time before the truth about what has been done to Dr Siddiqui, her family, and the thousands of other innocents who have been disappeared is revealed. Importantly, despite todays sentence and all the injustices which she has endured, Dr Siddiqui has consistently made clear that she does not support any acts of violence being taken in her name, the statement added. The International Justice Network stands in solidarity with the international community in condemning this unfair and unjust result in Dr Siddiquis case. In February, a jury found her guilty on seven counts, including attempted murder, but determined that Ms Siddiqui acted without premeditation. But in a four-hour sentencing session, Judge Berman repeatedly termed her acts premeditated. Her defence lawyers argued for a minimum sentence of 12 years, saying that Ms Siddiqui is severely mentally ill. Berman rejected that argument. He said he increased the sentence because of several factors, including terrorist intent and motivation to commit a hate crime. In doing so, he gave her the maximum sentence. But Ms Siddiqui, who wore a white scarf, took it calmly, saying she is innocent. After the hearing, Ms Siddiquis lawyers said they plan to appeal the verdict. Defence attorney Charles Swift said that government authorities never made available to them the US military reports on the incident. He said the report, which was declassified by the government after it was published this year on the WikiLeaks website, does not mention Ms Siddiqui as having fired the gun. It said only that she pointed a weapon. He said he believes there was a further in-depth investigation of the incident by the military that has also been withheld from the defence. I think theres real concern over the governments obligation to turn over exculpatory evidence, he told reporters. And I dont blame the prosecution in this case. What Ive found in national security cases like this is they have as big a battle trying to get evidence as anyone does. But the United States, to do justice, has to do it credibly and has to produce all the documents. And thats one of three or four huge ongoing appellate issues. Ms Siddiqui was allowed to speak at length at the hearing. In an emotional rush of sentences, she denied that she was mentally ill and repeatedly invoked the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in urging Muslims not to respond to her sentence with violence. I am asking all the Muslims: Dont do an act of violence, she said in court. If you want to do anything for me, educate them about Islam, she said, saying it is a religion of peace that has made her happy and content, even in prison. Ms Siddiqui - who had tried to bar jurors with Zionist or Israeli background from her trial - repeated her claims that the Jewish state was behind the 9/11 terror attacks. Im not anti-Israel, but, yes, I have said that they masterminded 9/11, and I have proof of that. Now I am saying that there are attacks being planned against America, big wars being planned, and they are involved in it, she said. She also repeatedly shook her head and threw her hands up in the air at suggestions that shes schizophrenic or otherwise unhinged. No, I am not mentally sick, schizophrenia. Excuse me. No way on earth, she said. Defence lawyer Dawn Cardi urged a sentence of no more than 12 years, insisting that Siddiqui suffers from diminished capacity, and that is clear. I ask the world to read what shes written. It is incoherent . . . It is the writing of a woman who is mentally ill, Ms Cardi said. Prosecutor Christopher Lavigne urged a maximum life sentence plus 10 years, saying a catastrophe was averted when Siddiqui was shot after grabbing an automatic rifle and opening fire inside an Afghan police compound in July 2008. Judge Berman - who called Siddiqui an enigma while reciting a lengthy history of her case - said the need for significant incarceration was completely obvious and, indeed, compelled. Sara Flounders of the International Action Centre shouted, Shame Shame Shame on this court after Berman announced the sentence, then led a band of marchers in chants outside the courthouse.