speculation over the weekend, a BBC report has confirmed the release,
citing a government official who wished to remain anonymous. He said
that the case is being handed back to the Attorney General due to
numerous gaps in the evidence.
Because tensions in the country continue to run high, details of the release have not been made public.
president of the Washington DC-based group, International Christian
Concern, said that “Technically, [Rahman] will still be in danger as
the case is being turned back to the prosecutor for review”, but
speculated that “this is a technicality.”
the people keep Rahman in their prayers. “He will be in grave danger as
long as he remains in the country. The fundamentalists will seek to
kill him regardless of what the courts say,” he warned.
morning, thousands of Afghan’s took to the streets of the northern
Afghan city of Mazar – e—Sharif to protest Rahman’s release.
legal system, which is based on Islamic Sharia law, suggests that
Rahman must receive death if he fails to renounce Christianity and turn
back to Islam. According to the BBC, a prosecutor in the case said that
“He would have been forgiven if he changed back. But he said he was a
Christian and would always remain one. We are Muslims and becoming a
Christian is against our laws. He must get the death penalty.”
Leaders in the
international community have staunchly spoken out against the case
citing massive violations of human and religious rights.
week to Afghanistan’s president Hamid Karzai, the Vatican appealed to
“profound human compassion,” and “firm belief in the dignity of human
life and by respect for every person's freedom of conscience and
religion,” asking for the case to be dropped.
The court said
earlier that they were also looking into whether or not Rahman was
mentally stable enough to undergo the trial—a discrepancy which could
have contributed to his release. Critics however, charge that the
tactic is simply a way for Afghanistan to skirt international criticism
without changing an unjust law.
Afghan man facing a possible death sentence for converting to
Christianity from Islam 16 years ago is set to be released, but massive
protests in the mostly-Muslim country suggest that Abdul Rahman’s fate
is still largely in question.