|One of the men brought to testify in court on Sunday|
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 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
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
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".
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|