Afghan physical therapist freed

An Afghan physical therapist who was threatened with execution in Afghanistan has been released from a Kabul prison after intensive diplomatic efforts, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross. 

Said Musa was imprisoned in May 2010, reportedly for converting to Christianity. WCPT wrote to the British Ambassador in Kabul and the British Foreign Secretary in February this year when his plight came to light, calling for the case to be made a diplomatic priority. It also worked with other member organisations to encourage similar action from their own countries. Because of diplomatic sensitivities, WCPT was advised by organisations such as Amnesty International not to mount a public campaign.

Before his imprisonment, Musa – who lost a leg in a landmine blast – worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross orthopaedic centre in Kabul, fitting war victims with prosthetic limbs.

WCPT’s Secretary General Brenda Myers said: “The 300,000 physical therapists represented by WCPT uphold the principle that all patients have the right to be treated equally, regardless of religion or ethnic origin. Likewise, it is a fundamental principle that physical therapists should be free to work, regardless of their own religious beliefs, wherever they may be working. We are delighted that Said Musa has now been released.”