HRCP for fair trial for Dr Afridi
LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed concern at denial of due rights to Dr Shakil Afridi, the man accused of helping the US find Osama bin Laden, who has been convicted to 33 years in prison, and demanded that irrespective of the charges against him he must get a LAHORE, May 25: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed concern at denial of due rights to Dr Shakil Afridi, the man accused of helping the US find Osama bin Laden, who has been fair trial.
A statement by the HRCP issued on Friday said: “One is concerned about the security of the country, but that cannot be made the basis of denying rule of law to anyone. The HRCP notes with concern that the trial of Dr Afridi falls well short of the due process standards on many counts, not least because the core principle of natural justice has been ignored and Afridi denied due legal assistance.”
The statement says the question of trying Dr Afridi on charges of treason also remains controversial.
“His actions may well have been prompted by the declared policy of the State to fight all forms of terrorism in sincerity.
Irrespective of the charge against him, there was no reason for trying Afridi in a tribal court, when the supposed offence had taken place in Abbotabad,” the statement said.
“Such treatment has given rise to perceptions that the only reason he was tried by a tribal court was to deprive him of the rights guaranteed under the constitution of Pakistan,” it said.
The HRCP calls upon the government to ensure that Dr Afridi gets a fair trial and is afforded an opportunity to defend himself against the charge brought against him. That is every citizen’s right and there is no reason why Dr Afridi’s case should be an exception.”
ASMA: Supreme Court Bar Association former president Asma Jahangir has termed the punishment a violation of human rights.
In statement issued on Friday, Ms Jahangir said Dr Afridi should be given an opportunity of open trial and be allowed to engage a counsel for his defence. She said former president Gen Musharraf had admitted in his book that Pakistani citizens had been gifted to America against dollars but he remained unpunished. But a common citizen (Afridi) did the same and he was sentenced to 33 years in jail, she added.
She regretted that the establishment of the country had not learnt any lesson from time. The punishment to Dr Afridi would cause an irreparable loss to Pakistan, she said.