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Justice delayed

The Case of Afghan Convert Gains Attention without Resolution

By Mindy Belz
12/3/2010 Afghanistan (World Magazine) – A hearing in the case of Sayed Mossa, the jailed Afghan convert to Christianity, had already been postponed twice when he entered the courtroom in downtown Kabul on Nov. 27. “I became very, very happy,” he wrote later that day, when a man and woman entered the room also, and one introduced himself as “your defense attorney.”

Six months into his incarceration, the 45-year-old apparently had some legal counsel. But progress in Mossa’s case—which has come to symbolize how the Karzai government handles conflicts over religious freedom—remained halting.

Both he and the defense attorney were denied access to his file that day—again—and the provincial judge refused to lay out formal charges, saying instead that the file contained “a mistake” and he was “rejecting” it and forwarding it to Afghanistan’s attorney general.

Mossa is not the only Christian detained without formal charges. Shoib Assadullah was arrested on Oct. 21 in Mazar-e-Sharif, according to International Christian Concern, after he had given a New Testament Bible to a man who later reported him to local authorities. He is currently in a holding jail in northern Afghanistan.

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