London – Amnesty International has called on the government of Afghanistan to repeal the death sentences against 111 people who are on death row. In a statement released in London Thursday, to coincide with a visit to London of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Amnesty said it feared that the reported executions of nine people since last week would be followed by further death sentences being carried out.
“The sudden rush in executions is of serious concern, given that Afghanistan’s fledgling justice system is largely incapable of providing fair and sound trials,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director.
He urged the authorities to impose an immediate moratorium on all executions in Afghanistan, “with a view to abolishing the use of this horrific punishment.”
Amnesty said sentences for at least 111 people have been recently approved by Karzai, who signs the final execution orders.
The move was widely seen as an effort to bolster Karzai’s popularity among the Afghan people, Amnesty said.