Five countries are appealing to Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai to prevent two Afghan men who converted to Christianity from being sentenced to death for “apostasy” — their decisions to abandon Islam.
Representatives from the United States, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Italy have been in contact with Karzai to ask for release and safe passage for Shoiad Assadullah and Sayed Musa.
Assadullah has been in jail since Oct. 21 after his arrest in Mazar-e-Sharif, and Musa has been detained since his arrest last May.
International Christian Concern’s Middle East Specialist Aidan Clay said Assadullah’s case is urgent.
“The case that concerns us most now is Shoiad Assadullah. He was brought to court in late December and was told he would have one week to recant his faith in Christianityand return to Islam. Otherwise he would be given the death penalty,” Clay explained.
Clay said Assadullah has been denied the right of legalrepresentationand has been charged with apostasy, a crime that Clay points out isn’t in the Afghanistan criminal code.
“The second court date was Jan. 4, but fortunately the attorney general inAfghanistanintervened. We can only assume that was because of foreign pressure in the country,” Clay said.