Protestors seek harsher punishment for rapists
KABUL (Pajhwok): Hundreds of people attending two separate protest rallies in central Kabul and southeastern Khost provinces on Saturday urged the Supreme Court to award harsher punishment to the detainees linked to the gang rape incident in Paghman town.
Seven of the 10-member gang have been arrested. The Attorney General’s Office on Saturday said it prepared and submitted the dossiers of the seven detainees and had recommended capital punishment for all of them in light of evidence available against them.
The group has been accused of depriving passengers of their valuables and sexually abusing four women after intercepting vehicles on the main road in Paghman, a town west of Kabul city, last month.
Hundreds of residents of Paghman staged a protest, asking judicial organs to sentence the accused to death.
The town’s council head, Haji Yar Mohammad, who participated in the protest, said the accused had committed crime against humanity and Islam. “The detainees have confessed to their crime, so President Hamid Karzai should order their execution,” he said.
He said the accused should be hanged at a square in Kabul City publically to set an example for others, otherwise the people Paghman would continue protesting.
An influential individual, Haji Syed Ahmad, who also took part in the rally, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Supreme Court should address the issue soon. The accused individuals could be bailed out by their friends if the punishment was delayed, he believed.
Kabul police said the accused had previously been arrested for crimes in the past, but they were able to get themselves released for unknown reasons.
The protestors issued a resolution that asked the authorities concerned to bring to justice those violating Islamic laws and committing crimes and punish them in accordance with Sharia law.
They asked security organs to improve security of Paghman district because it was a recreation area, where a large number of people went for entertainment.
Paghman district chief Abdul Qadir condemned the gang rape as a brutal incident, saying that he would share the resolution letter of the protestors with President Karzai.
Separately, a number of Islamic scholars, tribal elders and civil society activists held a protest gathering in Khost province to condemn the alleged rapists.
Maulvi Sardar Mohammad Zadran, the head of a local council, said sexual assault on women in Paghman was an atrocious and unforgivable action.
Demanding reforms in judiciary, he said, the guilty must meet the deserving fate.
Khost civil society institute head Haji Jamal Tanai told the gathering that the accused should be punished in public so that others could learn a lesson.
Meanwhile, the Right and Justice party also condemned the Paghman incident. A member of the party, Hamidaullh Farooqi, told reporters in Kabul that the incident was shameful and inhuman. He also demanded early punishment for the accused.
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