Alleged gang-rapists sentenced to death
KABUL (Pajhwok): All the seven accused in the Paghman gang-rape case were on Sunday handed death sentences by a primary court in the central capital Kabul, as protests against the widely condemned incident continued.
The seven men had been accused of looting passengers and sexually assaulting four women after intercepting vehicles on the main road in Paghman, a town west of Kabul.
Police had arrested seven of the 10-member gang. A day earlier, the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) presented before the Supreme Court documents detailing crimes of the seven accused and recommended capital punishment for them.
Several protests have been carried out against the incident, seeking public execution of the alleged rapists. President Hamid Karzai on Saturday promised a delegation of women that the accused would face the death penalty.
The four women were returning from a wedding with their families on August 3, when the gang, some dressed in police uniforms, attacked them and rapped them in a nearby field. The victims were beaten and their jewelry and other valuables were stolen.
Judge Safihullah Mujadeddi convicted the men of armed robbery and sexual assault. "Based on criminal law these individuals are sentenced to the severest punishment which is death sentence," he said.
The summary trial was televised nationwide and the men were seen standing in the heavily guarded courtroom. Outside the courtroom, dozens of activists gathered demanding speedy justice to instill public confidence in law and order.
The men identified as Azizullah, Mustafa, Nazar Mohammad, Samiullah, Qaisullah, Safiullah and Jamil can appeal Sunday's verdict in a higher court.
Mujaddedi ruled the accused were given the capital punishment for their involvement in multiple crimes.
He said some jewelries, a corolla car and money recovered from the men belonged to the affected families and would be handed over to them.
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