US militant suspects complain of torture

The note written on tissue paper that was tossed out by a detained American from a prison van in Sargodha. (AP)

Five Americans accused by Pakistan of links to Islamist extremist groups protested their innocence yesterday, saying they were being "set up" and tortured in jail.

As they arrived in a police van at the high-security court in the eastern city of Sargodha, one of the suspects tossed a scrap of tissue paper scrawled with writing from the window of the vehicle, an AFP reporter said.

"Since our arrest the USA, FBI and Pakistani police have tortured us. They are trying to set us up. We are innocent. They are trying to keep us from the public, media, our families and our lawyers. Help us," the message read.

The piece of paper was signed by "Waqar, Ahmed, Ramy, Umar, Aman" – the names of the five US citizens.

Shouts of "We have been tortured" were also heard from the van.

The men, aged between 18 and 25, and including two Pakistani-Americans, were arrested in Sargodha in December last year but are yet to be charged.

They are accused of trying to contact Al Qaeda-linked groups in the country and to plot attacks against Pakistan and its allies fighting the militants.

 

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