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UN Urges Halt To Afghan Executions

Navi Pillay

Despite a plea by the United Nations to halt capital punishment, Afghanistan has executed four more convicted prisoners in the capital, Kabul.

According to the Afghan daily "Anis," three of those hanged on November 11 were linked to deadly attacks by Taliban and Al-Qaeda insurgents.

The four executions come on the heels of at least five other state-implemented executions in Afghanistan in the past week. The orders for the executions were signed by President Hamid Karzai.

The UN's high commissioner of human rights, Navi Pillay, had expressed "dismay" at the earlier executions and had urged the Karzai government to stop any further executions.

"While recognizing the severity of the crimes with which these prisoners were charged, I am very concerned that the law enforcement and judicial systems in Afghanistan fall short of internationally accepted standards guaranteeing due process and fair trial,” Pillay said in a statement.

“Under these circumstances, there is a grave risk that there will be miscarriages of justice and that innocent people may be executed," she added.

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