March 21, 2006
His Excellency Hamid Karzai
President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Dear Mr. President:
We are deeply troubled by the case of Abdul Rahman, an Afghanistani man who faces the death penalty for the crime of apostasy for having converted from Islam to Christianity.
This alarming example of religious persecution is a step backward for a country that has been on the cusp of creating a new future for its people and leaving the intolerance of the Taliban behind.
It is disturbing that an individual's conversion to another faith is considered such an egregious offense in today's Afghanistan, especially since your constitution states that
"followers of other religions are free to exercise their faith and perform their religious rites within the limits of the provisions of law."
We hope your government will take immediate steps to ensure that a death sentence against Mr. Rahman is promptly reversed.