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Afghanistan Hangs Five Men Convicted of Rape

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Executed for Gang Rape in Paghman District
The Afghan government hanged five men who had been sentenced to death for their involvement in a gang rape, a case that stoked widespread public outrage in a deeply conservative society.
Afghan Deputy Attorney General Rahmatullah Nazari said the five men were hanged on Wednesday afternoon at Pul-e Charkhi prison in eastern Kabul. Another man convicted in an unrelated case and described by Afghan authorities as the leader of a kidnapping ring was also hanged, Mr. Nazari added.
Local journalists at Pul-e Charkhi weren’t permitted to witness the execution, but officials showed them a gallows built inside the prison before the hangings.
The five men were sentenced to death last month after they were convicted of the rape and robbery of at least four women returning to Kabul after a wedding in Paghman district, a mountainous area west of the capital. News of their arrest stirred intense media interest: The trial was broadcast on national television, provoking debate about whether the country was in danger of returning to the lawlessness seen during the country’s civil war in the 1990s.
The swift convictions of the men—which were upheld by an appeals court and the country’s Supreme Court—drew condemnations from human-rights groups. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein also appealed to President Ashraf Ghani to grant a stay of execution, expressing concerns about flaws in the judicial process.

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