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With Killer's Execution, Karzai Signals Move on Warlords

There is not much sympathy in Afghanistan for Abdullah Shah, a notorious mujahedeen commander who became the first man to be executed in the two years since President Hamid Karzai established a new Afghan government. Afghans welcomed the execution as a sign that the government was finally moving against criminal warlords. The decree ordering the execution said as much, stating that “it should be a lesson to other people that a person who commits a crime will be brought to justice.” But the execution has raised concerns among human rights groups and revealed shortcomings in the judicial system under Mr. Karzai’s Transitional Administration. The rights groups say Mr. Shah, 37, was not given a fair trial and was falsely accused of being a notorious killer known locally as “Zardad’s dog.” Some have even speculated that other, more powerful warlords orchestrated the case against Mr. Shah, who is from the Paghman district, west of Kabul, to remove a witness to their own crimes. Full Story

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