House Moves to Free Imprisoned Pakistani Doctor who Aided in Bin Laden Raid

 In Foreign, World

House Moves to Free Imprisoned Pakistani Doctor who Aided in Bin Laden Raid

Many of you may already know the tragic story of Doctor Shakil Afridi, a Pakistani physician who played a pivotal role in allowing the United States to locate al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

pakistani doctor

Dr Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who aided the raid on Bin Laden. photo via Fox News

The doctor had orchestrated a false Hepatitis C vaccination campaign in order to collect the bin Laden family’s DNA. This allowed the CIA to pinpoint Osama bin Laden’s exact location and ultimately led to the SEAL raid which caused his death.

Shortly thereafter, Dr. Afridi was imprisoned in a facility in Peshawar for 33 years on the grounds of treason toward Pakistan and allegedly having ties to the militant terror group Lashkar-e-Islam. The doctor, who has been in this prison since 2011, has denied the allegations.

Pakistan “justice”

As the Daily Mail reported, the judge overseeing Dr. Afridi’s case actually overturned the conviction of treason in 2013; the court had cited procedural errors and called for a retrial. However, the judge was killed in a “suspicious” gas explosion at his apartment in Islamabad, leading some analysts to suspect he was intentionally murdered.

The doctor has since remained in prison on the terrorist charge as well as other, mundane incidents dug up by Pakistani officials going as far back as 2006 – one of which involves the death of a teenage boy whom he had operated on.

It was revealed in a letter handwritten by Dr. Afridi himself and subsequently smuggled out of Pakistan by a supporter of his that the doctor is being held in total isolation and has been unable to contact his family and lawyers – a direct violation of human rights.

Is U.S. Finally taking Action?

Numerous U.S. officials, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, have publicly hailed Dr. Afridi as a “hero” and have called for his release from the Pakistani jail. However, they took virtually no action against Pakistan to have him freed.

According to The Telegraph, Dr. Afridi’s lawyer – Qamar Nadeem – stated that the best possible hope is political pressure from the U.S., “but so far they have not shown their support.” That may soon change, however, as Fox News reported, the House of Representatives is looking to pass legislation that would coerce Pakistan into freeing the doctor, saying:

“The House of Representatives passed a defense budget that would make $450 million in aid to Pakistan contingent on the nation doing more to stop a militant terror network and calls for the freeing of an imprisoned doctor who helped the CIA find Usama bin Laden. The $602 billion National Defense Authorization Act passed by the House late Wednesday calls on the Muslim-majority nation to crack down on the infamous Haqqani network or lose aid. It also included a ‘sense of Congress’ that Dr. Shakil Afridi is an international hero and calls for his immediate release from prison.”

The report on Fox went on to say that the “Pakistan-related amendments all passed by unanimous voice vote” and that the “House version of the defense bill must be reconciled with a Senate bill before being sent to President Obama.”

Leave a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search