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ADDRESS of Pope Francis
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AFGHANISTAN. GOVERNMENT SAYS COURT TO DECIDE FATE OF CONVERT

March 22, 2006: under mounting international pressure over the case of Abdur Rahman, a man facing the death penalty for converting to Christianity, Afghanistan said that its judiciary alone would decide the case. US President George Bush said he was deeply troubled by the case of Rahman, who an Afghan judge said had been jailed for converting from Islam to Christianity and could face the death penalty if he refused to become a Muslim again.
"We in Afghanistan have the prosecutor who observes the law and the court that executes it. Whatever the court orders will be executed as the court is independent," said Mahaiuddin Baluch, a religious affairs adviser to President Hamid Karzai. Rahman, 40, has not been formally charged yet.
He told a judge at a preliminary hearing he became a Christian while working for an aid group helping Afghan refugees in Pakistan 15 years previously. "I'm not an apostate. I'm obedient to God but I'm a Christian, that's my choice," Rahman told the hearing. (Sources: Reuters, 22/03/2006)

NIGERIA. MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR STEALING BICYCLE
CHINA. PIPELINE OIL THIEVES FACE DEATH PENALTY
LEBANON. DEATH PENALTY DROPPED AGAINST PLO HEAD
AUSTRALIA. PRIME MINISTER URGED TO OPPOSE DEATH PENALTY
MALAYSIA. FORMER SOLDIER SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER
MALAYSIA. COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCE ON INDONESIAN NATIONAL FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
TEXAS. KEVIN KINCY EXECUTED IN TEXAS
AFGHANISTAN. CHRISTIAN CONVERT GRANTED ASYLUM IN ITALY
JAPAN. DEATH SENTENCE UPHELD FOR 71 YEAR OLD
AFGHANISTAN. CHRISTIAN CONVERT FACING DEATH TO BE RELEASED, US SAYS
CHINA. LEADER OF ORGANIZED CRIME RING SENTENCED TO DEATH
KYRGYZSTAN. DEATH ROW INMATES PETITION PRESIDENT
AFGHANISTAN. COURT DROPS TRIAL OF CHRISTIAN AMID DOUBTS OVER HIS MENTAL STATE
CHINA. WOMAN EXECUTED FOR TRAFFICKING 31 BABY BOYS
AFGHANISTAN. KARZAI SAYS CONVERT WILL NOT BE EXECUTED – CANADA
NIGERIA. MAN TO DIE BY HANGING FOR KILLING OWN DAUGHTER
PAKISTAN. SHRINE BOMBERS SENTENCED TO DEATH
JORDAN. NINE MILITANTS SENTENCED TO DEATH
TEXAS. INMATE EXECUTED FOR DEATH OF TODDLER
JAPAN. DEATH SENTENCE METED VIA NEW FAST-TRACK PROCESS
CHINA. JAPAN'S RICH BUY ORGANS FROM EXECUTED CHINESE PRISONERS
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO. POLICEMAN SENTENCED TO HANG FOR MURDER
VIETNAM. FORMER CUSTOMS OFFICER EXECUTED FOR CORRUPTION
DRC. MILITARY COURT CONVICTS TWO OFFICERS OVER KILLINGS
MALAYSIA. BAR VOTES AGAINST DEATH PENALTY, CALLS FOR MORATORIUM
AFGHANISTAN. MAN RISKS DEATH FOR CONVERTING TO CHRISTIANITY
NORTH KOREA. COUNTRY ISSUES DEATH PENALTY DECREE FOR DRUG TRAFFICKERS
DRC. COURT SENTENCES RENEGADE SOLDIER TO DEATH
BELARUS. KGB CHIEF THREATENS DEATH SENTENCE FOR POLL PROTESTERS
SYRIA. DISSIDENT LABWANI COULD BE SENTENCED TO DEATH, LAWYER

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