Human Rights Group Urges End To Afghan Death Penalty

Among the hopes of ending the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was to elminiate its brutality in which hundres were executed for various offenses against the government. The US Based Human Rights Watch is asking President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan to refrain from signing execution orders for about 100 prisoners and declare a moratorium on the death penalty. According to Elaine Peasron, Asia deputy director of the group, “President Karzai should suspend the death penalty immediately. More mass executions will be a huge setback for the rule of law in Afghanistan.” Capitol punishment enjoys wide support among many members of the nation’s conservative population .

The Afghan Supreme Court recently gave blanket approval of the execution of 100 people. There is no question the rights of the accused are regularly disregarded as was so evident a few months ago when a journalist was condemned to death for downloading a story from the Internet. In October, 2007, fifteen people were executed by gunfire in the prison complex. The United Nations expressed its disproval of such mass executions but the Karzai government insisted it was merely acting in a democratic manner.