Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, October 01, 2007

Afghan boy hanged for having U.S. dollars

A 15-year-old boy was hanged from a tree on Sunday in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province for carrying U.S. money in his pocket, The Associated Press reported today.

District Police Chief Wali Mohammad said the brutal act was used as a warning to villagers not to use U.S. currency. Taliban militants placed five $1 bills in the boy’s mouth to serve as a reminder.

According to the article: “Dollars are commonly used in Afghanistan alongside the afghani, the local currency, although the U.S. currency is more commonly seen in larger cities where international organizations are found.”

In a related development, Chief Mohammad also reported that Taliban militants in Helmand shot and killed a man seeking farm assistance and seeds from an international aid program.

Due to the surge in violence, President Hamid Karzai has expressed willingness to meet personally with Taliban leader Mullah Omar and Hezb-i-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

However, representatives from the groups declared that no talks will take place until international troops leave Afghanistan.

“Karzai has, in fact, no authority in the presence of American troops. Talks would be a waste of time in such a situation,” Haroon Zarghun, a purported spokesman for Hezb-i-Islami, told The Associated Press by telephone. “If the United States announces to leave Afghanistan, then we will be ready to hold talks.”

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