Islamabad, Pakistan - Five Americans arrested in Pakistan on suspicion of plotting terror attacks claimed again Tuesday they are being tortured in jail. The suspects wrote their claims on tissue paper that they threw to reporters from a van that drove them to a court hearing.
"Since our arrest, the U.S.A., FBI, and Pakistani police have tortured us. They are trying to set us up. We are innocent. They are trying to keep us away from the public, media, our families and our lawyer. Help us!" The note contained the first names of all five suspects.
The five men worshipped together at a mosque in Alexandria, Virginia, until they went missing in November and turned up in Pakistan. They are accused by Pakistani authorities of being connected to terror organizations and plotting attacks. They were arrested in the small city of Sargodha, about 120 miles south of Islamabad, in December.
The five are identified as Ahmed Abdullah Minni, Umar Farooq, Aman Hassan Yemer, Waqar Hussain Khan and Ramy Zamzam.
The five first claimed at a court hearing in January that they had been tortured in jail. At that time Muhammad Ameer Khan Rokhri, the former defense lawyer for the accused, said the court ordered medical checkups for them.
Richard Snelsire, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad told CNN that the United States categorically denies and rejects any claims of torture. Pakistani police have also denied the claims.
A prosecutor was scheduled to submit a charging sheet to the court at the hearing Tuesday that would allow the suspects to be charged with specific crimes. However, the hearing was adjourned without the prosecutor taking that action.
Another hearing was scheduled for Feb. 16.
The suspects include two Pakistani-Americans, two Yemeni-Americans and an Egyptian-American.