News / Asia

    Brother of Jailed Pakistani Doctor Urges New Trial

    Jamil Afridi, left, brother of Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi holds news conference, Peshawar, Pakistan, May 28, 2012.Jamil Afridi, left, brother of Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi holds news conference, Peshawar, Pakistan, May 28, 2012.
    x
    Jamil Afridi, left, brother of Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi holds news conference, Peshawar, Pakistan, May 28, 2012.
    Jamil Afridi, left, brother of Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi holds news conference, Peshawar, Pakistan, May 28, 2012.
    VOA News
    The brother of a Pakistani doctor jailed for helping the United States track down Osama bin Laden says his sibling is innocent and should be granted a new trial.

    A tribal court in northwest Pakistan last week sentenced Shakil Afridi to 33 years in prison for treason. Afridi was accused of running a fake vaccination campaign to help the CIA obtain DNA samples of the al-Qaida leader and members of his family to confirm bin Laden's presence at a compound in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.

    Afridi's brother, Jamil, told reporters in Peshawar Monday that the doctor did not get a fair trial and the verdict will be appealed. He said his brother is not a traitor and has been made a "scapegoat" by Pakistani politicians.  Jamil Afridi called on Pakistan's chief justice to facilitate the appeals process.

    In an interview later with VOA's Deewa Radio, he expressed concern about his brother's detention and said Shakil should be given protection inside prison. Jamil Afridi also said he should be given the opportunity to meet with his brother.

    The United States has criticized Shakil Afridi's conviction and sentencing as "unjust and unwarranted" and called for his release. Pakistan has rejected the criticism, saying the U.S. should respect its judicial system.

    The verdict comes amid already tense relations between the United States and Pakistan. Islamabad has not yet reopened a NATO supply route to Afghanistan that was shut down after U.S. airstrikes mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops last November.

    Pakistan's parliament has demanded an apology for the cross-border attack and an end to U.S. drone strikes on Pakistani soil.

    But the drone attacks have continued. Missiles hit a compound and a vehicle in the North Waziristan tribal region early Monday. Pakistani security officials said at least five militants were killed in the town of Hassokhel near Mir Ali.  Hours later, another drone strike killed at least four militants near North Waziristan's main town of Miran Shah.

    Since May 24 there have been at least four such drone strikes targeting al-Qaida and Taliban-linked militants in Pakistan's northwest.

    Elsewhere in Pakistan's tribal area, officials said gunmen opened fire on a passenger van carrying Shi'ite Muslims in the Lower Kurram agency, killing three people.

    Six others were wounded in Monday's attack. The van was traveling from the city of Parachinar to the city of Peshawar. The area has seen sectarian violence between majority Sunni Muslims and minority Shi'ites.

    And police in the northern district of Kohistan are investigating reports that a local cleric has issued decrees sentencing two men and four women to death for dancing together at a wedding.

    Local official Khalid Umarzai said that video of the dancing, which was taken on a cell phone, seems to be manipulated and that eight people have been detained for leaking it. He said officers have been dispatched to the area to provide security for the four women, who have been confined to their homes since the decree was issued. The men shown in the video reportedly ran away.

    You May Like

    US Lawmakers Vow to Continue Immigrant Program for Afghan Interpreters

    Congressional inaction threatens funding for effort which began in 2008 and has allowed more than 20,000 interpreters, their family members to immigrate to US

    Brexit's Impact on Russia Stirs Concern

    Some analysts see Brexit aiding Putin's plans to destabilize European politics; others note that an economically unstable Europe is not in Moscow's interests

    US to Train Cambodian Government on Combating Cybercrime

    Concerns raised over drafting of law, as critics fear cybercrime regulations could be used to restrict freedom of expression and stifle political dissent

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Malek Tauqee/Towghi from: USA
    May 29, 2012 11:59 AM
    I salute our enlightened & heroic Pashtun brother, Dr. Shakil Afridi who courageously stood up against the dark forces responsible for the destruction of the Pashtun lands and the whole region. With Love, Dr. Malek Tauqee/Towghi, Liaison, Baloch Human Rights International

    by: Observer from: Asia
    May 29, 2012 12:57 AM
    The US army should have gone into Afghanistan and Pakistan simultaneously instead of Iraq. Had that happened, Al-Qaeda would have been dismantled much earlier. It did not happen because probably the US was apprehensive of Pakistan as it is still now.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora