By Jonathan Abrams, NSJ Staff Editor –
Five American Muslims who were detained in Pakistan on suspicion of terrorism have alleged torture by American and Pakistani authorities. The men, all from the Washington, DC area, were detained in December shortly after arriving in Pakistan. The Pakistani government has accused them of plotting terrorist attacks in Pakistan and seeking to join Islamist militants fighting U.S. troops in neighboring Afghanistan.
On February 2nd one of the men tossed a tissue to reporters while being led into court. The tissue read, “Since our arrest, the U.S., F.B.I., and Pakistani police have tortured us. They are trying to set us up. We are innocent. They are trying to keep us away from public, media and families and lawyers. Help us.”
A spokesman for the American Embassy in Islamabad, Richard W. Snelsire, said the United States “categorically rejects those allegations,” but takes seriously the claims and will ask Pakistan to address the accusations.
This will only further complicate current U.S.-Pakistan relations, as the United States has been pressing an often-reluctant Pakistan to crack down on militants, many of whom are believed to be carrying out attacks on U.S. and NATO forces.
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Image courtesy of the Christian Science Monitor