PESHAWAR: The alleged CIA operator Dr Shakil Afridi has gone on hunger strike in Central Jail Peshawar for what his lawyers and family members say ‘in protest against the jail administration’s ill-treatment.’
Afridi, through a fake vaccination campaign, had provided a lead for the US Navy Seals operation in which the al Qaeda chief Osama bin in Laden was killed in Abbottabad.
He was arrested for his alleged links to the CIA and was charged and punished under 40-FCR for 33-year jail for having links to the banned religious outfit Lashkar-i-Islam.
The decision from the Appellate court, the Commissioner FCR is expected on May 3 as his counsels had completed the arguments in the case and awaiting the judgment.
Afridi’s brother Jamil Afridi on Saturday told that the authorities were not allowing them to meet Shakil and since August 2012, they had no information about their brother.
“The authorities have also ordered for Dr Shakil’s medial check-up but the jail authorities are not willing to listen and not providing him the treatment as well as medicine,” he said, adding, “he is on hunger strike as he is not treated well in jail.”
Afridi’s counsel Samiullah Afridi told Dawn.com that for the last six months no one, even him, had been allowed to meet the doctor. It is against the right of a prisoner, we don’t know in actual what happened but family sources and the insiders are saying Dr Shakil is on hunger strike, he said.
“Denying the right of consultation and meeting with legal advisor and family is an injustice and he should be allowed to meet his friends,” he added.
“Perhaps the allegations that the doctor has given an interview to the Fox News as well as the transportation of camera and cellphone to the jail by some policemen might have been made a pretext to deny him the meeting rights,” he remarked, adding “but over all its high profile sensitive case and denying the family members and lawyers access to Dr Shakil Afridi has no legal justification.”
To a query about the possible decision on Dr Shakil Afridi’s plea, Samiullah said, “We have put forth all the legal arguments and no its up to the court of Commissioner FCR to decide on it, the decision is likely to be announced on May 3 but we don’t know what it would be, but legally we are on stronger side on the verdict.”
About his arrest and conviction, the counsel said, it’s strange, Dr Afridi was arrested for his alleged support in the Osama bin Laden operation but when the government failed to prove anything, they convicted him just in one day on May 23, 2012 with out any trial which has no legal justification.
But, Samiullah Afridi advocate added, the verdict announced by the trial court is also unjustified as the APA’s authority is equivalent to a magistrate and he could only award a degree in any criminal case for just three years and in this case, Dr Afridi had been awarded 33 year imprisonment and that also without any trial.