Murder: No Mercy

Two men were hanged in a remote Pakistan town last week--not rare in Pakistan, but surprising because of the protagonists. The condemned men had murdered Meena, founder of the Revolutionary Afghan Women's Association (RAWA), and two of her aides, in 1987. They would've faced life in prison, but RAWA pushed the Supreme Court to change the sentences to death. RAWA is admired in the West for its brave stand against the Taliban's abuse of women--including executions--and the group officially opposes the death penalty. It made an exception because Meena's murder was politically motivated, says a spokesperson. Afghan officials, including interim leader Hamid Karzai, pleaded for mercy. So did the Afghan consul general in Quetta: "I said, forgive them or you're just like the Taliban." But the answer was no.