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NZ must protest latest executions in Afghanistan

Kennedy Graham MP
kennedy [dot] graham [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)
New Zealand soldiers should not be placed in a position that they may be forced to hand over prisoners that could then face the death penalty.

The New Zealand Government should protest the recent use of the death penalty in Afghanistan, the Green Party said today.

14 prisoners have been executed in Afghanistan in the past two days. Executions have been rare since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. All the executions were signed off by President Hamid Karzai.

"Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman should seek formal assurances from Afghan authorities that no prisoners handed over by New Zealand's Defence Forces will suffer the death penalty," Green Party global affairs spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham said today.

"New Zealand is a country greatly opposed to the death penalty.

"New Zealand soldiers should therefore not be placed in a position that they may be forced to hand over prisoners that could then face the death penalty.

"The resumption of the use of the death penalty by the Karzai regime is yet another reason why it is time to bring our soldiers back from Afghanistan now," Dr Graham said.

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