Friday, December 10, 2010

Afghan authorities block lawyer from visiting jailed Christian

Said Musa
(Photo courtesy
Release International)
Last week, we told you about Said Musa, an Afghanistan Christian who was arrested in May after video footage, showing Afghan Christians being baptised and participating in prayer gatherings, was televised nationally. The broadcast triggered protests throughout the country along with calls to execute Christians.

Said (alternatively spelled Sayed Mossa) is a father of six and an amputee with a prosthetic leg. Since his arrest, he has been tortured, abused and threatened with death. He has been unable to find an Afghan lawyer willing to represent him, and his family has been unable to access his file that includes the charges against him.

His trial, which was to take place on November 21, was postponed.

Compass Direct News is reporting today that, two weeks ago, a Christian lawyer traveled to Kabul on behalf of Christian legal rights organization Advocates International to represent Said. Authorities denied the lawyer access to Said and to his indictment file.

“If a man is not entitled to define his own beliefs, and to change those ideas, under the existing constitutional order of Afghanistan, then how is this government more moral than the Taliban’s?” the lawyer said in an email to Compass Direct News.

Said finally appeared before a judge on November 27 and without prior notice. Rejecting the case file as deficient, the judge sent it to the attorney general’s office for corrections, according to the lawyer. The lawyer said he has deduced that the file was missing a formal indictment and other “incriminating” evidence.

Afghan law says that Said is entitled to see a copy of the indictment and review the evidence against him, but authorities have denied him both rights. If the prosecutor does not present the court with an indictment within 15 days of arrest, the lawyer said, an accused person has the right to be released.

You can read the full report here.

Please continue to pray for Said Musa’s release from prison and for his safety and well-being. Pray that he will remain courageous and willing to share the love of Christ with those around him.

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