The Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA track down and kill Osama bin Laden started a hunger strike from his prison cell, his lawyer and family said on Monday.
Shakil Afridi has been languishing behind bars for years since his fake vaccination program helped US agents track down and kill Al Qaeda leader in 2011.
"It is a protest against the injustices and inhumane attitudes committed against him and his family," his brother Jamil Afridi told AFP after meeting Shakil Afridi in a prison in central Punjab province.
His lawyer Qamar Nadeem also confirmed the hunger strike.
Shakil Afridi was detained for 33 years in May 2012 after being convicted of being linked to terrorists, an allegation he has always denied.
His sentence was later reduced by 10 years.
Some U.S. lawmakers have branded the case as revenge for his help in finding the Al Qaeda leader.
The murder of Osama Bin Laden in 2011 has left Pakistan, and especially its powerful military, extremely embarrassed.
Shakil Afridi has had no access to his lawyer for years, while his appeal against his prison sentence has stalled and scheduled court hearings have been repeatedly postponed.
His family has also complained that authorities have attacked and harassed them over the years.
President Donald Trump vowed during the campaign that he would order Pakistan to free Shakil Afridi, but he has largely remained silent on the subject since taking office.
The comments sparked a violent counter-argument from Pakistan, whose interior minister at the time described President Trump as "ignorant" and stated that the "Government of Pakistan and not Donald Trump" would decide the fate of Shakil Afridi.
In recent years, Pakistani authorities have acted against nonprofits and forced them to leave the country. According to analysts, this was largely linked to the Shakil Afridi case, as the security company feared that NGOs might have offered protection for espionage.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)