Target: Senator Farooq Hamid Naek, Minister of Justice.
Goal: To attain the release of doctor jailed for aiding the CIA in finding Osama bin Laden.
The government of Pakistan must immediately and unconditionally release the doctor who helped the CIA locate Osama bin Laden. He has been charged, however, with aiding the militant organization Lashkar-e Islam, not the CIA. In May, Shakil Afridi was found guilty of treason and sentenced to 33 years in prison.
In addition to the prison term, the court fined Dr. Afridi $3,500. He is currently being held in jail in Peshawar. In November he went on a hunger strike in order to protest prison conditions. Pakistan must ensure his well-being and assure international onlookers that Dr. Afridi will not be subject to torture or other mistreatment while in jail. His imprisonment sends the wrong message to the international community, as both the United States and Pakistan as well as other interested parties should be satisfied that an international terrorist was removed from the scene. Pakistan has been fighting against internal terrorism for years as well as trying to change its image as a nation that harbors terrorists.
The United States has repeatedly stated that it did not ask Dr. Afridi to spy on Pakistan but simply to acquire information about bin Laden’s whereabouts. The State Department has been in talks with Pakistan regarding other mutual interests and has stated that they have brought up their concerns regarding the imprisonment of Dr. Afridi. The U.S. Senate is also set to hear a bill that would allocate funds to obtain the release of Dr. Afridi and for further international aid to help fight terrorism in Pakistan.
Sign this petition and demand that the government of Pakistan stop persecuting those innocent of terrorism. Pakistan must not politicize this incident and instead recognize that the United States is willing to help repair relations between the nations and move forward.
Dear Senator Farooq Hamid Naek,
Your government must immediately and unconditionally release Dr. Shakil Afridi. I am concerned for his welfare while imprisoned for the charge of aiding the militant organization Lashkar-e Islam. His imprisonment sends the wrong message to the international community, as he was integral in the elimination of a terror threat. Terrorism should be a high priority for your government as it is a problem within your country however Dr. Afridi cannot be classified as a terrorist.
By persecuting Dr. Afridi you are also perpetuating the image of doctors as being devious and evil. This is a dangerous practice. Portraying Dr. Afridi as a terrorist will only worsen the climate of fear in your country. Pakistan must free Dr. Shakil Afridi.
[Your Name Here]