IF it weren’t for Rabia Chaudry, you probably never would have heard the name Adnan Syed.
It was Rabia Chaudry who first brought global attention to Adnan Syed’s case – after she believed he was wrongly imprisoned for the murder of 18-year-old Baltimore, US high school student, Hae Min Lee in 2000.
Who is Rabia Chaudry?
Rabia Chaudry, is an immigration lawyer by trade, as well as an author and podcast host.
Chaudry was born in Pakistan, but later moved to the Unites States, where she attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the George Mason University School of Law.
Since completing her studies, Chaudry has dedicated her career to freeing Adnan Syed – the man convicted of of strangling and killing his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee as she believed he was wrongly convicted.
How did Rabia Chaudry meet Adnan Syed?
Chaudry first met Adnan in 1995, four years before Hae Min’s murder – when he began hanging out with her younger brother, Saad.
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They were both part of the Baltimore Muslim community and attended the same mosque, where Adnan would often lead prayers and the pair quickly became childhood friends.
Did Rabia Chaudry contact Sarah Koenig about Adnan Syed?
Rabia Chaudry, Adnan Syed‘s family friend and advocate, was the person who introduced Serial Podcast host Sarah Koenig to Syed’s case.
Serial is an investigative journalism podcast focusing on a true story each season.
In 2014, Chaudry contacted producer Sarah Koenig at This American Life to pitch a story about the 1999 murder case of Maryland teenager Hae Min Lee – the result was Serial season 1.
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The show premiered in autumn 2014 and each episode tried to piece together a timeline of what happened the night Lee was killed.
The podcast series put Adnan Syed and his case in the spotlight, and highlighted aspects of the investigation that Syed’s supporters, including Chaudry, say reveal his innocence.
Soon his Adnan's name hit headlines and within months, the discussion around Syed's case would ultimately help him win a new trial.
In 2015, Syed was granted a new trial based, in part, on new evidence uncovered while making Serial.
On September 19, 2022, his sentence was overturned by a Maryland judge, after two decades.
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After Serial ended, Rabia Chaudry co-hosted her own podcast, Undisclosed – a podcast about wrongful convictions in the United States.
She then went on to write a book – Adnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial.
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