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)
Sharif seeks improved relations with Kabul
KABUL: Following his landslide victory in Pakistanâ€™s parliamentary elections, Mian Nawaz Sharif on Sunday promised efforts at improving Islamabad-Kabul relations. In recent weeks, ties between the neighbours came unde READ MORE
Taliban free 4 of 8 Turkish engineers
KABUL: The Taliban have freed four of the Turkish engineers they had kidnapped last month in central Logar province, Afghan and Turkish officials said on Sunday. On April 21, the Taliban kidnapped 10 foreigners, includi READ MORE
MPs suggest rethink on Pakistan policy
KABUL: Members of the Meshrano Jirga -- or upper house of the parliament -- on Sunday said the incoming Pakistan government would not help Afghanistan and asked the Karzai administration to review its policy toward the n READ MORE
Karzai hopes new Pak govt to help fight terror
KABUL: President Hamid Karzai on Sunday telephoned Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) chief Mian Nawaz Sharif and congratulated him his â€śclear victoryâ€ť in the elections. Karzai described Sharifâ€™s campaign messages as READ MORE
Iranian guardsâ€™ fire being probed: Musazai
KABUL: The Foreign Ministry said it was dispatching a delegation to Iran on Sunday to investigate reported casualties among Afghans at the hands of Iranian guards near the shared border. At least four Afghans were repor READ MORE
Balochs vow to resist aggression
KABUL: The Council of Baloch Elders of Afghanistan on Sunday voiced their support for the government in guarding the country's borders against Pakistani intrusions. At a meeting with President Hamid Karzai, Baloch elder READ MORE
Hundreds rally against Pakistan, Iran
FARAH CITY: Hundreds of people, mostly former jihadi leaders, on Sunday rallied against Pakistan and Iran, accusing the neighbouring countries of killing and torturing innocent Afghans. Nearly 500 individuals, including READ MORE
Abducted MDC workers shifted to Tirah
JALALABAD: The eleven employees of a mine-clearing organisation, who were abducted from the Achin district of Nangarhar province, have been taken to Pakistanâ€™s northwestern Tirah Valley, officials said on Sunday. On T READ MORE
Rassoul, Burns stress early BSA conclusion
KABUL: The Afghanistan-US Bilateral Commission, created under the Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), on Saturday met in Kabul to review progress in implementing the vision of a secure, democratic and prosper READ MORE
MPs barred from retracting pleas for summons
KABUL: A majority of Wolesi Jirga members on Saturday voted overwhelmingly for barring colleagues from withdrawing their requests to summon a minister, ending tension within the lower house. The vote came after some leg READ MORE
British legacy lingers in Afghan-Pakistan border clashes
LONDON: Tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan are high after a series of cross-border clashes in recent weeks, including one in which an Afghan policeman died. The frontier is a legacy of British rule in India and d READ MORE
British never intended for Durand Line to be an intâ€™l fron
KABUL: Barnett Richard Rubin, a senior advisor to the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, has categorically said that Britain has never granted the controversial Durand Line a status of international READ MORE
Roundtable held to discuss marble industry progress
KABUL: The Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan (EPAA) in joint venture with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Saturday launched a one-day roundtable to discuss development of marble ind READ MORE
Tens of Afghan workers killed in Iranian troopsâ€™ gunfire
KABUL: Tens of Afghan workers were killed after Iranian border troops opened fire on them on Friday. The Afghan workers were mulling to go to Iran through the western Farah province. Iranian guards turned their weapons READ MORE
Donâ€™t forget Afghanistan, Merkel urges international commu
KABUL: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, during an unannounced visit to northern Afghanistan, on Friday urged the global fraternity not to forget the conflict-devastated country after the pullout of foreign combat troops READ MORE
President links future US presence to peace
KABUL: The United States has demanded nine permanent military bases in Afghanistan, something that has long fuelled concerns among regional countries, President Hamid Karzai said on Thursday. In the bilateral Security A READ MORE
Muslimyar alleges Pak-US deal on Durand Line
KABUL: Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar on Thursday alleged US troops had paved the ground for Pakistani forces to advance 40 kilometres into eastern Afghanistan under "a secret deal". Muslimyar, who returned a day READ MORE
SEAL Team 6: Families believe the 2011 Chinook shootdown in
KABUL: The August 6, 2011 Chinook shootdown in eastern Afghanistan is considered the worst loss of U.S. military life in the war-torn country since the Operation Red Wings in 2005. The crash killed all 38 people on board READ MORE
Will remain in post-2014 Afghanistan if Kabul beckons: US
KABUL: A spokesman for the White House has said the US troops would remain after 2014 in Afghanistan only at the invitation of the Afghan government. The spokesman said the US was not seeking permanent bases in Afghanis READ MORE
Families of kidnapped children seek justice
KABUL: Relatives of many children who were kidnapped by Abdul Samad, a kidnapper who has been arrested, call on the government to severely punish him. The families of the kids who accuse certain individuals in the gover 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...