Asifi's Kidnappers were 'Fresh out of Jail'

Politics Materials 30 October 2008 15:50 (UTC +04:00)

Afghanistan, Kabul, 30 October / corr Trend A. Hakimi / One of the kidnappers who abducted a relative of the late King Zahir Shah was released from prison only four months ago, the head of the secret intelligence service, Amrullah Saleh, said. The revelation about Humayun Shah Asifi's kidnappers came amids calls for greater punishments for convicted kidnappers.

The speaker of the lower house, Mohammad Yunus Qanuni, called for a decision to be made regarding abductions. Members of Parliament asked the president to investigate the freeing of convicted criminals, while members of the lower house said kidnappers should be publically punished.

They said the lack of punishment had caused people to loose confidence in the government and suggested government complicity in the crime wave. Kabul's police chief said that without tougher punishments the crimes would continue. Humayan Shah Asifi - a relative of the late king, Zahir Shah - and fellow victim Abdul Latif - the son of a famous banker - were released on Sunday following a police tip-off. They were held in a dry well for over a week while their kidnappers demanded a $5 million ransom to secure their release.