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U.S. Presses Karzai On Apostasy Case

U.S. President George W. Bush (left) and Afghan President Hamid Karzai after a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, March 1 (AFP) March 23, 2006 -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai, asking for a "favorable resolution" in the case of an Afghan man on trial for his life for converting to Christianity from Islam

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in reporting Rice's call to Karzai, that the secretary of state expressed "displeasure" over the case.

"This morning, just a short time ago, [Secretary Rice] spoke with President Karzai about this issue,” McCormack said. “She called specifically on this topic, she raised it in the strongest possible terms and she urged President Karzai's government to seek a favorable resolution."

The judge of Afghanistan's Supreme Court Ansarullah Mawlavizada said the court is trying to find a good solution in the case of convert Abdul Rahman.

Western governments and rights groups have said they are viewing this as a test case of Afghanistan's commitment to values of personal freedom.

(AP, AFP, dpa)

RFE/RL Afghanistan Report

RFE/RL Afghanistan Report

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