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)
Paktika mourns as suicide bomber kills 45 in volleyball matc
KABUL: At least 45 people were killed and more than 70 were injured on Sunday afternoon when a suicide bomber detonated his explosive-laden vest during a volleyball match in eastern Paktika province of Afghanistan... READ MORE
MCIT launch program to support innovative ideas
KABUL: Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) on Sunday inaugurated a training center to launch a program that would provide necessary support to those IT companies that have innovative ideas... READ MORE
3m Afghan children prone to different forms of abuse: MoLSA
KABUL: In spite of spending millions of dollars through public and non-governmental organizations to support children in Afghanistan and defend their rights, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA) said Sunday t READ MORE
LH overwhelmingly nods security deals with US, NATO
KABUL: Lower House (LH) of the parliament approved the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States and Status of Force Agreement (SOFA) agreement with NATO by majority.... READ MORE
30 militants killed in joint raids: MoI
KABUL: At least 30 armed Taliban were killed and three others were wounded in different crackdowns within the past 24 hours. In a press release issued here, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said the Afghan National Police READ MORE
BSA tops LH agenda
KABUL: The Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between Kabul and Washington would top todayâ€™s (Sunday) agenda of the Lower House (LH) of the parliament. It is said that the MPs would engage in intensive debate to discus READ MORE
Presidentâ€™s decision to probe fraud allegations against la
KABUL: Chief of the Independent Electoral Complaints Commission (IECC) on Saturday said that the President Office decision to investigate frauds allegations through Attorney General Office (AGO) is against the election l READ MORE
HPC chief's resignation plea rejected
KABUL: Salahuddin Rabbani, the head of the High Peace Council (HPC) has requested for his resignation as chief of the HPC but President Ashraf Ghani rejected his plea to resign, said official on Saturday.... READ MORE
Obama extends combat mission in Afghanistan
KABUL: The US President Barack Obama has secretly signed an order that expands the United State's direct combat role in Afghanistan beyond 2014. Media reports have said that the order was signed over the past few weeks, READ MORE
â€˜Security situation improves in Paktiaâ€™
KABUL: Spokesman to the provincial governor on Saturday said that security has been improved in Paktia province. Speaking at a press conference here Rohullah Samoon said that there was no major security threat in the pro READ MORE
LH rejects amendment in mining law
KABUL: Wolesi Jirga or Lower House (LH) of the parliament on Saturday rejected the government suggested amendment in the new mining law. The government has asked the Lower House to remove the Article 84 from the law. Ac READ MORE
19 militants killed in raids: MoI
KABUL: At least 19 armed Taliban were killed and four others were wounded in different crackdowns within past 24 hours. In a press release issued here, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) said the Afghan National Police (ANP) READ MORE
Karzai seeks regional support against terrorism
KABUL: The former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai sought regional support on Friday against the menace of terrorism. In his inaugural address at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, the ex-president said that reg READ MORE
AGO summons election officials
KABUL: The Attorney General Office (AGO) has summoned the election panels officials following the president's request to summon officials of the both election commissions on the other day... READ MORE
Plot to attack vice-president foiled
KABUL: The National Directorate of Security (NDS) has informed of arresting five would-be suicide bombers who were plotting attack on Abdul Rashid Dostum the first vice-president on Saturday. The NDS Spokesman, Abdul Has READ MORE
All set to issue electronic ID cards: Official
KABUL: Officials in Electronic Identity Cards Distribution Department has said that the authority was ready to start distribution of long-awaited electronic identity cards. "All preparations have been taken, the technica READ MORE
Belgium to close Kabul embassy in January
KABUL: Amid drawdown in Belgium's military presence in Afghanistan, the Kingdom has announced to close its Kabul embassy before the end of January in upcoming year. The Belgian Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statemen READ MORE
Afghanistan wonâ€™t allow proxy Pak-India war: Karzai
KABUL: Former president Hamid Karzai on Wednesday said his country would not allow itself to become the battleground for a proxy war between India and Pakistan after the imminent departure of US-led troops... READ MORE
Terror incidents up by 68pc in major cities: NDS
KABUL: National Directorate of Security (NDS) said that there was 68 percent increase in terrorist incidents in major cities, particularly Kabul. â€œThough terror attacks including suicide blasts, rocket attacks, IED bla READ MORE
Instability in Afghanistan will lead to Pakistan's division:
KABUL: Officials in Regional Studies Center of Afghanistan (RSCA) have said instability in Afghanistan poses threat to Pakistan more than any other time, particularly when political rivalry between India and Pakistan is 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...