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Afghans want death penalty for U.S. soldier

Friday, March 23, 2012 - 02:00

March 23 - Afghans expect no less than death penalty for U.S. army sergeant accused of killing 17 civilians. Michaela Cabrera reports.

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Afghans in Kandahar are expecting no less than the death penalty for American soldier Robert Bales, to answer for the killing of 17 civilians. The army staff sergeant accused of killing Afghans in a shooting rampage in Kandahar last week, will be charged with 17 counts of murder, a U.S. official said. (SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) KANDAHAR RESIDENT, AGHA LALA, SAYING: "We demand from the court in the United States to give the death penalty to the U.S soldier who massacred the civilians, because he deserves hanging, because he committed the biggest crime. We want a punishment based on Islamic sharia law." The Taliban vowed to take revenge on NATO forces for the kilings, and said they had no faith in any court proceeding. A human rights activist in Kabul, Nader Nadery, also called for a proportionate punishment. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HUMAN RIGHT ACTIVIST NADER NADERY SAYING: "It is very clear that the act was a clear violation of the code of conduct of the U.S. military forces. It is a clear breach and violation of the international human rights laws and therefore the punishment needs to be proportionate to satisfy the victims of this horrible incident." He said it would have been better if justice were pursued inside Afghanistan and that transparency was paramount. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HUMAN RIGHT ACTIVIST NADER NADERY SAYING: "We urge the U.S. government to release the findings of their investigation. It will give more confidence to the public on the proceedings of the trial." The massacre in Kandahar, which followed the burning of Korans at a NATO base, angered many Afghans and damaged relations at a critical time when Western forces are beginning to withdraw troops and the Taliban have suspended peace talks. Michaela Cabrera, Reuters.

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Afghans want death penalty for U.S. soldier

Friday, March 23, 2012 - 02:00