BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA.com) — “Zero Dark Thirty” is a contender to bring home an Academy Award for Best Picture this weekend, but first, local activists are joining forces to free a doctor who helped the United States find Osama bin Laden.
Arguably playing the most critical role in the 10-year hunt for bin Laden is Dr. Shakil Afridi, who is currently being held in a Pakistani prison. If Beverly Hills businessman Bob Lorsch has his way, Afridi’s story will steal the show at the Academy Awards on Sunday.
He calls Afridi a patriot who’s been left behind.
“This is the guy who saved America in terms of finding Osama bin Laden and now he’s stuck in the same environment as the people that are killing American soldiers,” Lorsch said.
Lorsch and Congressman Dana Rohrbacher hope the Oscars and “Zero Dark Thirty”, which is based on the manhunt for Osama bin Laden, can be used shed light on Afridi. The hero doctor was left behind and arrested just days after bin Laden was killed.
“And now, he is sitting for 33 years in a jail cell either being tied, tortured, bound, starved,” Lorsch added.
Afridi reportedly worked with our government under the guise of a vaccination program to get inside bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound and confirm he was there – information the U.S. needed to make the raid and ultimately kill bin Laden.
Pakistan, which is officially an ally of the United States and receives billions of dollars in aid from America every year, claims Afridi was arrested for other charges, unrelated to identifying bin Laden.
However, the people fighting for his freedom don’t buy it and want Afridi freed now.