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UN asked to help halt Afghans’ execution

UN asked to help halt Afghans’ execution

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Mar 03, 2013 - 16:19

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Civil societyinfo-icon activists on Sunday asked the government, the United Nations and international human rights organisations to prevent the execution of Afghans on death row in Iran.

No exact figures for those sentenced to death in the neighbouring country are known as yet, but the Afghanistaninfo-icon Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) says up to 2,000 Afghans are facing executions.

In the latest incident, five Afghan citizens executed in Iran were laid to rest in the Kalfagan district of northern Takhar province 10 days ago.

Civil society activist Yasin Kashani told reporters in Kabul that Afghans imprisoned in Iran had no access to defence lawyers and were deprived of the rights inmates had in other countries.

He said Iranian authorities were not allowing family members of prisoners to meet them, while the Afghan government had been denied access to the cases

Kashani suggested the government should intensify diplomatic efforts at rescuing Afghans on death row.

Another civil society leader Raza Farzam said jails in Iran did not meet international standards and the country had been unable to conduct fair trials for the Afghan inmates.

He also accused the Iranians of disrespecting the corpses of Afghans after their executions, but stopped short of going into details.

"The bodies of Afghans are stored in the morgue and are not handed over to their kin until they paid two to three million tomans," he claimed, calling on the UN to mount pressure on Tehran to stop putting Afghans to death.

He said civil society groups had issued a joint statement, asking the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to summon Iran's ambassador in Kabul and lodge a strong protest over the executions as soon as possible.

The foreign ministry says an Afghan judicial delegation will be travelling soon to the neighbouring country to discuss the issue with Iranian authorities.

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