Friday, February 23, 2007

25,000 rally in Kabul to give amnesty to warlords

Afghan warlords in amnesty rally

Around 25,000 people have rallied in the Afghan capital Kabul, calling for a proposed war crimes amnesty for former military commanders to be made law.

The upper house of parliament has passed the controversial bill but it has yet to be signed by the president.

Tens of thousands of people were killed and tortured during decades of war and unrest in the country.

If the bill were to become law, those who led fighting first as leaders of the anti-Soviet resistance during the 1980s and then during the 1992-1996 civil war would be immune to prosecution for war crimes.

The protesters, waving placards with pictures of political leaders, gathered in the city's Ghazi football stadium, where people were executed and tortured during the Taleban era.

"Whoever is against mujahideen is against Islam and they are the enemies of this country," former fighter Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, now an influential lawmaker, told the crowd of demonstrators.

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