Washington for fair trials of prisoners in Afghanistan
WASHINGTON: The Obama administration on Wednesday called for transparent and fair trials for prisoners, as Afghanistan executed 14 prisoners over the past two days.
Calling the executions an internal matter of Afghanistan, a senior administration official said that the US expected Kabul would meets its international obligations in this regard.
“Decisions regarding the sentencing of Afghan citizens are obviously a matter for the Afghan courts and ruling in accordance with Afghan law as well as, obviously, Afghanistan’s international obligations,” the State Department spokesman said.
Mark Toner told reporters during an off-camera news conference: “We, of course, urge the government of Afghanistan to uphold its international human rights obligations, including the protection of due process and fair trial in courts of law.”
The spokesman added: “I think we’re more concerned with the fact that – whether the process was transparent, fair and consistent with international norms.”
Asked if he was satisfied with the process, Toner said: “Those are the kinds of questions that we ask when we look at these things. But, obviously, these were decisions carried out by Afghan courts consistent with their own legal process.”
In Kabul, the Office of Administrative Affairs said the convicts planned terrorist attacks and suicide bombings in the capital, Faryab and Ghazni provinces.
Those put to death were identified as Mullah Ramazan, Abdul Ali, Mohammad Arif, Mohammad Haidar, Mutawakil and Aziz Ahmad. Arif was accused of killing two UN workers.
Human Rights Watch said the weakness of the Afghan legal system and the routine failure of courts to meet international fair trial standards made the use of the death penalty especially troubling in the country.
HRW’s Asia Director Brad Adams said: “The Afghan government’s near total moratorium on the death penalty in recent years was a major departure from Taliban rule.”
He called the eight hangings in a single day a “terrible step backwards” for Afghanistan and asked President Karzai to stop future executions and commit to a formal moratorium.
But Cabinet Secretariat spokesman Rafi Firdous defended the action as legal: "By applying this penalty, the rule of law is implemented. This is a lesson to be learned.”
Afghanistan's Independent Human Right Commission official Hussain Ali Moin said although the capital punishment was in line with the country’s constitution, there were concerns about the fairness of trials.
The Taliban urged the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to mount pressure on the Karzai administration to stop the executions.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had received information that some insurgents were among those hanged. “They were prisoners of war, not criminals. Executing war prisoners is against all human rights.” --(PAN)
Extraconstitutional actions to impact aid: US
WASHINGTON: The United States on Tuesday warned against extra-constitutional actions by any stakeholders in Afghanistan, saying such a move will have an impact on financial and security support. â€œThe President and Secr READ MORE
Karzai receives orphans, street children
KABUL: President Hamid Karzai received a number of orphans and street children on Tuesday here at the Presidential Palace. Muhammad Yousuf, Head of Aschiana Foundation, who was also present on the occasion, briefed the p READ MORE
Nawaz felicitate Karzai on 95th Independence Day
KABUL: Pakistanâ€™s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has felicitated President Hamid Karzai on the auspicious occasion of the 95th Independence Day of Afghanistan. Nawaz Sharif in a letter sent to the Afghan president extend READ MORE
53pc of ballots audited, says poll panel
KABUL: Nearly 53 percent of the votes cast in the second round of the presidential polls have been audited, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) announced on Tuesday. IEC spokesman Noor Mohammad Noor told a press co READ MORE
Karzai bashes Islamabad for fueling internecine feud
KABUL: At the commemoration of the countryâ€™s 95th Independence Day on Tuesday, President Hamid Karzai once more solidly heaped scorns on Pakistani leadership for triggering political vendettas and fueling lingering con READ MORE
â€˜Pakistan busy to dent unity of Afghans living across Dura
KABUL: National Security Council (NSC) of Afghanistan accused Pakistan of providing weapons and money to its paramilitary forces to target Afghans on this side of the Durand Line from tribal belt controlled by Islamabad READ MORE
Karzai condoles with Badghis traffic accident victimsâ€™ fam
KABUL: President Hamid Karzai voiced his shock over a deadly traffic incident in Western Badghis province, said a statement issued by his office on Sunday. According to the provincial governor office, a deadly traffic i READ MORE
Obama, Modi felicitates Karzai on 95th Independence Day
KABUL: The US President Barack Obama congratulated President Hamid Karzai on the occasion of 95th Independence Day of Afghanistan. Obama in a letter sent to President Karzai congratulated him and the entire Afghan nation READ MORE
More rockets landed into Kunar from Pak
ASADABAD: Pakistan once again for the second time this week shelled more than 100 rockets into eastern Kunar province. The provincial police chief, Gen. Abdul Rahman Sayid Khil, said Sunday that at least 126 rockets land READ MORE
Militants defeated in Logar: Police chief
PUL-I-ALAM: Security officials in Logar said hundreds of militants once again attacked some security check points in the eastern province, but were defeated by the brave Afghan security forces. It was the second group at READ MORE
DABS strives to provide more payment option to consumers
KABUL: The state-owned electricity supplying company Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) is busy in providing more options to its consumers for easy payment of electricity bill. DABS and Afghan United Bank (AUB) on Sun READ MORE
Students from Afghanistan, Nepal elated to get advanced educ
Over a hundred students from war-torn Afghanistan are studying at the New Delhi-based Jamia Hamdard University. The campus, which has 15 per cent reservation for foreign students, offers various courses in information te READ MORE
New mining law spell opportunity for investors, jobless Afgh
KABUL: The Minister of Mines and Petroleum said the new investor-focused mining law would provide several facilities to local and foreign investors. Mohammad Akbar Barekzai on Sunday said the law has facilitated companie READ MORE
Japan donates ambulances to Afghan Health Ministry
KABU: Japan has donated 40 ambulances worth $1.4 million to the Afghan Public Health Ministry. The ambulances will help the Public Health Ministry (MoPH) to shift patients, who are living in remote parts of the country a READ MORE
Anti-polio drive: MoPH vows to cover 8.9m children
KABUL: The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said that it would cover 8.9 million chilren during the first round of autumn polio vaccination campaign which kicked off on Sunday. In a press statement issued here the MoPH s READ MORE
Afghanistan sees foreign hands behind extremism
KABUL: Afghanistanâ€™s Ambassador to Iran said that some foreign spy agencies were in the quest to fuel extremism in the war-hit country. Nasir Ahmad Noor during an interview with the Fars News Agency (FNA) said that â€˜ READ MORE
SAARC member states urged for joint anti-terror strategy
KABUL: The First Vice President of Afghanistan Muhammad Yonus Qanooni asked heads of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) member countries for new and effective strategy against terrorism and narc READ MORE
42 insurgents killed in operations
KABUL: At least 42 militants were killed and 44 others were wounded in different crackdowns within past 24 hours, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said. In a press release issued here, MoI said that Afghan National Police READ MORE
Karzai accepts credentials of first Sri Lankan ambassador
KABUL: President Hamid Karzai accepted the credentials of the first ambassador of Sri Lanka to Afghanistan, Prasad Kariyawasam, on Saturday. Prasad said that his country was committed to continue its cooperation with Afg READ MORE
Special audit of 6,000 ballot boxes begins
KABUL: The Independent Election Commission (IEC) said Saturday that a special audit of 6,000 suspect ballot boxes was launched in presence of national and international observers. The special audit is implemented based o READ MORE
Iran and blame the victim game
Tehran is continuously interfering in Afghanistan and pressurizing Kabul under one pretext or the other. Iran’s meddling into our internal affairs while giving it name of concern as Tehran did it recently when its ambassa...