24 March 2006 :under mounting international pressure over the case of Abdur Rahman, a man facing the death penalty for converting to Christianity, Afghanistan said that its judiciary alone would decide the case. US President George Bush said he was deeply troubled by the case of Rahman, who an Afghan judge said had been jailed for converting from Islam to Christianity and could face the death penalty if he refused to become a Muslim again.
"We in Afghanistan have the prosecutor who observes the law and the court that executes it. Whatever the court orders will be executed as the court is independent," said Mahaiuddin Baluch, a religious affairs adviser to President Hamid Karzai. Rahman, 40, has not been formally charged yet.
He told a judge at a preliminary hearing he became a Christian while working for an aid group helping Afghan refugees in Pakistan 15 years previously. "I'm not an apostate. I'm obedient to God but I'm a Christian, that's my choice," Rahman told the hearing.