Further Six Inmates Hanged as Rights Groups, Taliban Protest

News - Afghanistan


Six people, most of them Taliban insurgents, were executed on Wednesday following the eight hanged on Tuesday, Attorney General Office said.

The six hanged in prison on Wednesday include Mohammad Haidar son of Mohammad Rahim and a Tajikistan national, Motawakil son of Abdul Wakil from Kabul, and Aziz Ahmad son of Faiz Mohammad from Ghazni province - all convicted organisers of two suicides attacks in Kabul, according to the Attorney General.

The two suicide attacks referred to are the attack in Ansari Square and another second in Gul Froshee Street which killed five and injured 30 others.

Deputy Attorney General Rahmatullah Nazari said these three in particular had links with Al Qaeda.

"We received the execution decree of these six people and we assigned a delegation to implement the decree. They are from Kabul, Faryab and there is a citizen of Tajikistan," he said.

Another two executed were Abdul Ali and Mohammad Arif, both residents of the Malistan District in Ghazni province. There were convicted of killing two aid workers from the United Nations.

And the sixth man hanged today was Mullah Ramazan, a resident of Faryab province and member of Taliban, who was convicted of killing 11 people including eight border police and planning suicide attacks.

While Afghan lawmakers welcomed the move, international observers decried the step calling on President Hamid Karzai to cease using the death penalty as punishment.

"Other criminals who did serious crimes especially those who rape children should face the same penalty soon," MP Oazhma Safee.

The European Union condemned the crimes of the accused, but disagreed with the sentence of execution saying it is inhumane and brutal.

International Human Rights Watch asked for more pressure to be brought to bear on Karzai to stop the executions because the judicial process in Afghanistan is weak and may risk sentencing men incorrectly.

The Taliban also surprised many with a statement asking all human rights groups, as well as the United Nations and Red Cross to stand against the executions.

A total of 14 men have been hanged in two days, ending four years of almost no state-sanctioned executions in Afghanistan.

Currently around 200 prisoners in one of Afghanistan's top security Pul-e Charkhi prison are awaiting their death sentences, according to officials. For the sentence issued by the court to be carried out, final approval must be given from the President.

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