Tags: afghanistan | gang | rape | executions

Afghanistan Gang Rape Executions: 5 Men Hanged

By    |   Wednesday, 08 October 2014 12:18 PM

Despite requests from human rights groups to Afghanistan's new president, five men were hanged in Kabul on Wednesday for a gang rape that shocked the country. 

The five men were put to death barely a month after being convicted in a trial criticized by the United Nations and rights groups. The men were convicted of robbery and extramarital sex, but not rape.

Reuters reported the gang rape by armed men tapped into a vein of anxiety as foreign troops leave the country while a badly stretched Afghan army and police fight a deadly Taliban insurgency.

The case had been held up as a test of  President Ashraf Ghani's resolve to reform a justice system often accused of lapses of due process.

"The trials have been marred by inconsistencies, uninvestigated torture claims and political interference," said David Griffiths, Asia-Pacific deputy director of rights group Amnesty International.

"There is no question that this was an appalling crime and the outcry and anger this case has caused is of course understandable," he said. "But the death penalty is not justice – it only amounts to short-term revenge."

Deputy Interior Minister Gen. Ayoub Salangi said the men were executed on Wednesday afternoon. Deputy Attorney General Rahmatullah Nazari confirmed the deaths.

The August rape and robbery of the women, who were returning home from a wedding along with their families outside the capital, sparked concern in Afghanistan's conservative society over public security at a time of transition.

Police said a large group of men, some dressed in police uniforms, and carrying assault rifles, stopped a convoy of cars in the district of Paghman, about 9 miles west of Kabul. They dragged four women out of the cars in the middle of the night and raped them in a field near the main road.

The assault provoked such an outpouring of rage that former President Hamid Karzai told a delegation of women the perpetrators would face the death penalty. Karzai confirmed the death sentences just before leaving office late last month.

The U.N. human rights commissioner and other rights groups had called for Ghani to stay the executions for a review of the case.

Criticism from rights groups also focused on the men's death sentences for the crime of extramarital sex and robbery, but not rape, which is widely seen as a taboo subject.

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Despite requests from human rights groups to Afghanistan's new president, five men were hanged in Kabul on Wednesday for a gang rape that shocked the country.
afghanistan, gang, rape, executions
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 12:18 PM
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