U.S. citizens tortured in Pakistan?

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


Human Rights Watch yesterday reported that two brothers were illegally apprehended in Pakistan last summer, then held and tortured over a period of eight months, allegedly at the behest of the U.S. government.

Sure, it sounds like a familiar story. But there’s a twist: first of all, the brothers, though they live in Pakistan, are U.S. citizens. Second, one of the two, Zain Afzal, had been abducted under similar circumstances only a few months earlier. After being questioned and tortured–and suffering a burst eardrum and severe lacerations on his back–he was released the next day.

According to the men, FBI agents dropped by to question them in jail at least six times. On these occasions, Zain Afzal, who was being asked the same questions he answered the first time he was abducted, told the agents he was being tortured by his jailers, only to be told by the FBI agents that the matter was “beyond their jurisdiction.” (Oddly, very few American media sources have picked up the story.) According to the Afzal brothers, not only did the FBI threaten to send them to Cuba, their Pakistani captors did as well. Go Team America! Pakistani torturers are now threatening their prisoners with Guantanamo!

In other news, Amnesty International, in its newly released 2005 human rights report, accuses the United States of damaging human rights by its treatment of detainees. To which White House Spokesman Scott McClellan responded, “The United States is leading the way when it comes to protecting human rights and promoting human dignity.”

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate