.- Although Abdul Rahman, an Afghan man who faced death for converting from Islam to Christianity was released from prison on a technicality this week, his faith still puts him in danger in his home country. The United Nations announced Monday that he has appealed for foreign asylum.
According to the Associated Press, Adrian Edwards, a U.N. spokesman said the world body was working with the Afghan government to meet Rahman’s request.
"Mr. Rahman”, he said, “has asked for asylum outside Afghanistan…We expect this will be provided by one of the countries interested in a peaceful solution to this case."
Numerous countries, including Italy, Germany, the U.S. and the Vatican had heavily criticized Afghanistan for the case and appealed for the release of the 41-year-old. Under that countries Islamic Sharia Law,converting away from Islam is an offense punishable by death.
Although Rahman’s case was dismissed because of a lack of evidence, many charge that Afghanistan needs to change what they see as a horrendously unjust law. Massive protests erupted yesterday in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif over the case’s dismissal.
Rahman is currently being held in Kabul at the high-security Policharki prison. He was reportedly moved there because of continuous threats from other inmates.
The Associated Press also reported that some Muslim clerics have threatened to incite Afghans to kill Rahman if he is released, charging that he is guilty of apostasy and deserves to die.
The Afghan government has not released details of Rahman’s release.
Italy is the first country to have offered asylum today, but other countries are expected to follow.