Pakistan has sentenced Dr. Shakil Afridi to 33 years in prison under its Frontier Crimes Regulations, FCR, for helping the United States hunt down and kill Osama bin Laden.
Afridi ran a vaccination clinic for the public and also helped to quietly collect DNA samples in Abbottabad of the population for the CIA's search for bin Laden for a decade. Human rights groups have called the FCR abuse because it is a special set of regulations that govern the restive tribal region of Pakistan where clan leaders and militants rule.
The verdict was handed down by a Khyber government official in consultation with a council of elders, according to Nasir Khan, a government official in the Khyber tribal area, where the doctor was arrested and tried. Pakistan called the operation that killed bin Laden "act of treachery by a supposed ally."
CBC news reports: "He was working for a foreign spy agency. We are looking after our national interests," said a Pakistani intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with the agency's policy.'
This move had further increased tension between the two nations that call themselves allies, and it was apparent to the world when the Pakistani president was in Chicago for the NATO summit and President Obama refuses to meet with him, nor did Obama mention Pakistan among the countries he thanked in helping with the Afghanistan war effort and supply lines.
Tensions were strained by the operation to kill bin Laden by US Navy Seals and Delta forces and took another turn for the worse when a US spy drone fired on what it thought were militants but ended up killing 24 Pakistani soldiers. Obama has refused to apologize but did say the incident was regrettable while reaffirming the US position that poor communications between the military's of the two nations lead to their deaths.
Top American and British officials have called for his release saying that he worked for both the US and Pakistani interests.
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