Pelosi: A Civilized Society Does Not Execute Its Citizens for Expressing Their Faith'
Washington D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the trial in Afghanistan and possible execution of Mr. Abdur Rahman for converting to Christianity:
"Religious freedom is a value fundamental to Americans and one that the United States has historically promoted internationally. Officials in Afghanistan should immediately release Abdur Rahman and dismiss the charges against him.
"President Hamid Karzai and his government must work with the Afghan judiciary to interpret their Constitution in accordance with International Human Rights Standards, to ensure that freedom of religion and the freedom of individuals to change their religious beliefs is a right protected by the government.
"The United States has been heavily engaged in the rebuilding of Afghanistan and has a responsibility to speak out when religious extremism threatens Afghan citizens.
"A civilized society does not execute its citizens for expressing their faith. Americans speak out loudly on behalf of those whose lives are threatened because of their religious beliefs - whether in China, Tibet, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Iran or Afghanistan."