Shakeel Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who helped the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) track down slain global terrorist Osama bin Laden, has reportedly launched a hunger strike from prison. It was confirmed on Monday by Shakeel’s family and his lawyer Qamar Nadeem.
The brother of the said doctor, Jamil Afridi, while speaking to Agence France-Presse (AFP) said, “It is to protest the injustices and inhumane attitudes being committed against him and his family.”
Shakeel was jailed for 33 years in May 2012 for orchestrating a fake vaccination programme that helped the CIA neutralise Osama Bin Laden. He is currently held up in a prison in Central Punjab Province of Pakistan. Shakeel was charged for having ties with militants, a claim he has denied since his imprisonment.
He had no access to his lawyer for several years and his family accused the authorities of harassing them for years. Shakeel’s sentence was later reduced by 10 years.
US lawmakers have accused Pakistan of carrying out a revenge campaign against Shakeel for causing major embarrassment to the country after Osama Bin Laden was found living in a safe house in their territory. Back in 2016, US President Donald Trump had vowed to get him released from jail.
Earlier in February, it was reported that Taliban terrorist leader Ehsanullah Ehsan, who had shot the controversial Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai for campaigning for female education in Pakistan’s Swat Valley in 2012, has escaped from a prison in Pakistan. The story of his escape came to light after an alleged audio clip was released by the former Taliban spokesperson, confirming his escape.
Recently, 26/11 terror attack mastermind and terror organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed was convicted in two terror-financing cases by a Pakistan court, ahead of the FATF plenary meet. The LeT chief was slapped with a prison sentence of five and a half years and a fine of Rs 15,000 in each case.