Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Seven Afghan Men Given Death Sentences 2 Weeks After Gang-Rape of 4 Women

One of the men brought to testify in court on Sunday
Seven Afghan men have been sentenced to death following a gang rape case that has sparked national outrage.

The men were found guilty of kidnapping and attacking four women who were returning to Kabul after a wedding in August. Five were convicted of rape.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai had been among those who called for the men to be executed. 

Activists say violence against women is prevalent in Afghanistan, but rarely attract this much attention.

Human Rights Watch said that many women in Afghanistan who reported rapes to police ended up being arrested for adultery. Perhaps this would be a good time to raise the penalty for rape. The death sentence is clearly a response by the court to the outrage of the people and the president to the rapes, so why not raise the maximum penalty for rape to the death sentence? It would be more likely to stand-up under appeal.

The men were said to have carried out the attack on 23 August. That's remarkable! They don't even have all the men in custody and just 2 weeks after the attack they are sentenced to death! I have doubts that the sentence will withstand an appeal, but it certainly sends a badly needed message. It also signals the beginning of a change in attitude toward rape in the country; this is very good news!

Police uniforms
Police said the men were wearing police uniforms when they stopped a convoy of cars near Paghman, a town near Kabul. The men pulled out four of the women, and robbed and attacked them.
The court were the men were given death sentences, 7 September 2014
All seven men were given death sentences - but still have the option to appeal
At least one of the victims had to spend a week in hospital following the attack. Another was said to be pregnant.

Seven of the 10 men thought to be involved were arrested on Wednesday, with the remaining three on the run.

The trial on Sunday lasted two and a half hours.

The accused were all dressed in dark red, their hands covered with black fabric and their hands and feet chained, the BBC's Samiullah Mosazai reports from Kabul Primary Court.

One of the accused was 35 and others were between 19 and 27 years old, our correspondent adds.

'Gun on my head'
The death sentences for the seven men were actually handed down for the crime of armed robbery, with 20-year prison sentences for assault.

Additionally, five of the men were given a further 15 years for rape. So the rapes received the smallest sentences - less than armed robbery or assault. Yeesh!
Afghan women attend a protest against a high-profile gang rape case that
shocked the capital Kabul, in Kunduz, Afghanistan, 7 September 2014
The men still have the option of appealing their sentences.

One victim told the court: "We went to Paghman with our families. On the way back, they took us, one of them put his gun on my head, the other one took all our jewellery, and the rest started what you already know."

Kabul police chief Zahir Zahir said that the men "confessed to their crime within two hours of their arrest".

'Due process'
There were demonstrations outside the court, as protesters called for the men to be hanged.

Some rights activists have expressed concern at how quickly the trial was conducted.

Patricia Gossman, senior Afghan researcher at Human Rights Watch, tweeted: "Heinous crime should not mean suspending due process rights. Where is rule of law?"

It is highly unusual for a death sentence to be given for the crime of armed robbery, Jawad Samimi from the BBC's Afghan Service reports.
Paghman Arc of Triumph
Paghman, where the attack took place, is known as a popular location for outings due to its beautiful orchards - but is also a place where armed gangs operate, our reporter adds.