It turns out that Abdul Rahman has been freed. In fact, it looks like that decision was at least well on the way before I fired off a letter to my MP and blogged about it yesterday. So, does that mean I missed the boat and wasted my virtual pen?
Partly, but I think it was still worth doing for a number of reasons:
- It has been a while since I last wrote to Bridget Prentice. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to get a response and what that response is like.
- I still can’t find any clear indication of what the UK government has contributed to the international debate. The article above says: The case sparked Western criticism, with the US, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy and Sweden among those demanding Afghanistan respect international laws on freedom of religion and human rights. However, I have failed to trace any direct reporting, even though I’ve turned up sites like Jihad Watch that have been closely following the case.
- Mr Rahman’s case has been dismissed because he is allegedly mentally unfit to stand trial and allegedly perhaps not even really an Afghan citizen. That may be true but it sounds suspiciously like an evasion, to avoid setting a precedent that might protect non-Muslims in future trials when the eyes of the world are looking elsewhere. Is the UK going to stay vigilant or is it looking for an excuse to turn away?
- His safety is still not guaranteed, with many Afghanis speaking violence against him. I hope it won’t be the case but how would it be followed up if he were murdered?
Therefore, I think the case is far from over. It would have been good to have responded earlier but better a little on the late side than not bothering at all.