Statement by Senators McCain and Levin on Sentencing of Pakistani Doctor who Assisted in Bin Laden Search

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Carl Levin (D-MI) today released the following statement on the news that Dr. Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who assisted the United States in the search for Osama bin Laden, has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for the crime of treason:

“It is shocking and outrageous that Dr. Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who assisted the United States in the search for Osama bin Laden, has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for the crime of treason. What Dr. Afridi did is the furthest thing from treason. It was a courageous, heroic, and patriotic act, which helped to locate the most wanted terrorist in the world – a mass murderer who had the blood of many innocent Pakistanis on his hands.

“Dr. Afridi’s actions were completely consistent with the multiple, legally-binding resolutions passed over many years by the United Nations Security Council, which required member-states to assist in bringing Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda network to justice. Dr. Afridi set an example that we wish others in Pakistan had followed long ago. He should be praised and rewarded for his actions, not punished and slandered.

“We call upon the Pakistani government to pardon and release Dr. Afridi immediately. At a time when the United States and Pakistan need more than ever to work constructively together, Dr. Afridi’s continuing imprisonment and treatment as a criminal will only do further harm to U.S.-Pakistani relations, including diminishing Congress’s willingness to provide financial assistance to Pakistan.”