It seems that the case of the Afghani Islam-to-Christian convert is attracting attention from the international community. One of the more outspoken is Amnesty International, which released a statement condemning the acts of the Afghani authorities.
Amnesty International today called on the Afghan authorities to urgently commit themselves to judicial reform and the upholding of international standards as Abdul Rahman, 41, reportedly faces calls for his execution in connection with his reported conversion from Islam to Christianity.
As a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the government of Afghanistan is bound to uphold Article 18, which provides that "everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion" and that "this right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice."
I’m assuming that due to international pressure, Afghnistan has suddently found itself between a rock and hard place and deciced to declare this man unfit for trial, as he might just be "mad."
Prosecutor Sarinwal Zamari said questions have been raised about his mental fitness. "We think he could be mad. He is not a normal person. He doesn’t talk like a normal person," he told The Associated Press.
UPDATE: The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called for the release of Abdul Rahman, saying the man’s conversion was a personal matter and not subject to the intervention of the state. Here are some excerpts from their press release:
Islamic scholars say the original rulings on apostasy were similar to those for treasonous acts in legal systems worldwide and do not apply to an individual’s choice of religion. Islam advocates both freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, a position supported by verses in the Quran, Islam’s revealed text. …We urge the government of Afghanistan to order the immediate release of Mr. Abdul Rahman.