Human rights groups slam Afghanistan over spate of executions

London, Nov. 22 (ANI): Human rights groups have slammed Afghanistan for hanging six prisoners, bringing the number of executions to 14 in the past two days.

They condemned the hangings as cruel and inhuman, and also raised concerns about the safety of some of the convictions.

Officials told the BBC that those hanged were criminals, not militants linked to the Taliban or Al-Qaeda, and most of them had been found guilty of serious offences including rape as well as "crimes against the people, especially women and children".

According to the report, President Hamid Karzai's spokesperson claimed that he had approved the executions.

However, in wake of the hangings, Human Rights Watch Asia Director Brad Adams said that the eight hangings were "a terrible step backwards for Afghanistan", and called on the president to stop future executions.

"The death penalty is an act of cruelty that should never be used," Adams said.

Amnesty International Asia-Pacific Deputy Director Polly Truscott also said the hangings were "the ultimate form of cruel and inhuman punishment".

"Detainees are frequently tortured into confessions and relied on by a judiciary that has little to no independence... There is simply no guarantee of a fair trial," she said. (ANI)