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Rohrabacher Introduces Bipartisan Resolution Recognizing Jailed Pakistani Who Helped Find Bin Laden as American Hero; Calls For Immediate Release of Dr. Shakil Afridi

Statement

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Today, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) introduced H. Res 86,"Expressing the sense of the U.S. House of Representatives that Dr. Shakil Afridi is an American hero and that he should be immediately released from custody by Pakistan."

"All Americans owe Dr. Afridi a debt a gratitude for what he did to help us find Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. He and his family have paid a terrible price at the hands of our so-called allies, the Pakistani government," said Rohrabacher.

"We cannot continue to turn our back on Dr. Afridi. He risked his life to provide the intel our forces needed to locate and eliminate Osama bin Laden and he now languishes in a Pakistani prison serving a 33 year sentence. He has been tortured, his family has been attacked and he is still in a desperate situation. It behooves us as Americans to state in a unified voice to his Pakistani captors, Dr. Afridi should be freed."

At Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony two stars of the feature film "Zero Dark Thirty," spoke out about Dr. Afridi's plight. Jessica Chastain said "[it] breaks my heart he's still in prison," and Jason Clarke said "it's wrong that he's being held."

In May 2011, three weeks after the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the Pakistani government arrested Dr. Afridi for accessing the Bin Laden compound and helping the U.S. identify who was hiding there. This was confirmed when then Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated Dr. Afridi was "an individual who in fact helped provide intelligence that was very helpful with regards to this operation to kill or capture Bin Laden."

Original co-sponsors include Reps. Bachmann (R-MN), Gerlach (R-PA), Gohmert (R-TX), Higgins ( D-NY), Hunter (R-CA), Lummis (R-WY), Poe (R-TX), Salmon (R-AZ), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Sherman (D-CA) and Stockman (R-TX).


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