Rasmussen also said: “I would expect the Afghan government as well as all Afghan institutions to live up to the requirements as stated in the Afghan constitution including full respect for human rights.”
But that is precisely the problem. The Afghan constitution identifies the country as an Islamic republic, and says that “followers of other religions are free to exercise their faith and perform their religious rites within the limits of the provisions of law, ” but “no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam” (Chapter 1, Articles 1-3).
An amendment in the tenth chapter of the constitution adds: “The provisions of adherence to the fundamentals of the sacred religion of Islam and the regime of the Islamic Republic cannot be amended.”
Therefore, despite lip service to abiding by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Chapter 1, Article 7), all talk of religious freedom and human rights in Afghanistan truly begins and ends within the boundaries of Sharia, which forbids apostasy from Islam. By Sharia’s reckoning, leaving Islam simply does not fall under the umbrella of “human rights.” So, where anyone claims that Sharia “respects human rights,” it does so according to its own dismal standards.
Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged Afghanistan on Monday to respect human rights as a Red Cross worker faced a possible death sentence for converting to Christianity.
“Let me stress that a sentence to death or any punishment for converting from one religion to the another is in strong contradiction with everything Nato stands for,” Mr Rasmussen said.
“Nato is based on the principles of human rights, rule of law, freedom, democracy,” he said at his monthly news conference.
Musa Sayed, an Afghan who works for the International Committee of the Red Cross, was among two men arrested in May on apostasy charges and has languished in a Kabul jail as his case drags on.
A prosecutor said in November that the two men could face the death penalty.
“I have no information about the possible involvement of the Afghan government in that,” Mr Rasmussen said. “I would be surprised if the Afghan government is actually involved in that case.”
When pressed for information, it would not be surprising if they denied it. But Musa is in a Kabul prison. It would be ridiculous to suppose the regime is not aware of the case.
However, he added: “I would expect the Afghan government as well as all Afghan institutions to live up to the requirements as stated in the Afghan constitution including full respect for human rights.”…
This article is now several days old, but there do not appear to be reports following up on substantive measures NATO would take to secure Musa’s release and future safety.