21 November 2012
The Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) condemns the executions of 8 death row prisoners on Tuesday 20 November.
The executions were carried out after President Hamid Karzai signed 16 execution orders on Monday 19 November.
The last executions in Afghanistan took place in June 2011, when two men were hanged. Prior to this, Amnesty International had not recorded executions in the country for 2 years.
These executions are a major setback. A few days ago on 19 November in the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee, Afghanistan had changed its vote from opposition to abstention on the draft fourth resolution calling for a moratorium on executions.
Unfair trials remain a concern with many not receiving proper legal representation in death penalty trials. Although the use of torture is specifically prohibited by the Afghan Constitution, ADPAN documented last year that torture by police remains widespread and people have reportedly been sentenced to death after forced confessions and without cross-checking evidence and testimonies.
ADPAN calls upon the Government of Afghanistan to immediately halt all executions, to place an immediate moratorium on all executions and to commute all death sentences.
On Wednesday 21 November a further 6 prisoners were executed, bringing the total t0 14. ADPAN reiterates its call upon the Government of Afghanistan to place an immediate moratorium on all executions.