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Afghan President Karzai (left) at the funeral of Pope John Paul II in April 2005 (epa) March 23, 2006 -- Canada's prime minister says Afghan President Hamid Karzai has assured him that human and religious rights will be fully upheld in the case of an Afghan man who could face the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity.


In another development, Afghanistan's embassy in the United States has issued a statement urging patience with the case and saying the Afghan judicial system is currently evaluating questions about the "mental fitness" of the man, Abdul Rahman.


U.S. President George W. Bush on March 22 said it was "deeply troubling that a country we helped liberate would hold a person to account because they chose a particular religion over another."


United Nations and countries including Germany, Italy and Australia have all voiced concern.


(compiled from agency reports)

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