NGO urges Oscars to help free man who helped find Osama

Feb 23, 2013, 07:50 IST | Agencies

Hollywood-based activists are praising Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-nominated Zero Dark Thirty and calling on its cast and crew as well as the teams behind all of the Best Picture-nominated films to draw attention to the plight of Dr Shakil Afridi, a pivotal player in bringing Osama bin Laden to justice

Bob and Kira Lorsch and their RHL Group took out a full-page ad with the headline: “Oscar, Help Free Afridi. America’s Abandoned Hero.”

Dr Shakil Afridi has been arrested, imprisoned and tortured by Pakistani authorities. File pic

The ad, part of the group’s “Free Dr Afridi” campaign, reads in part: “Dr Shakil Afridi is the man who verified Osama bin Laden’s location in Pakistan for the United States. Without Dr Afridi’s sacrifice, we may not have pinpointed the location of the world’s most dangerous terrorist. His reward… he was abandoned, captured and is still being tortured by Pakistan ever since Bin Laden was killed in May 2011. After all, who will stand up to help America next time if this is how we treat our friends?”

It asks those nominated for Best Picture to use the spotlight that the Academy Awards provides to inform the public about Afridi’s heroism and subsequent incarceration. “As you celebrate the Oscars, please consider spending a few moments of your limelight to draw attention to freeing Dr Afridi. Since the real star of Zero Dark Thirty is not here to accept his award for best true American hero, perhaps you can accept yours partially on his behalf,” continues the ad, before encouraging those to seek more information by emailing

Won’t host Oscars next year: Seth MacFarlane
Seth MacFarlane won’t host the Oscars for a second time. He said he has been working so hard to get things in line for Sunday’s show, but he reckons he just couldn’t hack that level of commitment, two years in a row.

He said, “It’s the time commitment, I just don’t think I could do it again. It will have been almost six months that I’m working on this. And I’m still going to get savaged in the press.” MacFarlane also said he was drawn to the job because he knew he could mess it up. “You know if something sounds interesting and it sounds like something, I could mess up and do badly.” The Family Guy creator also promised that he would try to keep the normally long, boring event short.  

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