Decree or law passed dealing with deserters and consequences if caught. [AFG3642]

The IRBDC has access to the 1976 edition of the Afghan Penal Code, however, there have been major changes in the government since that time, and according to Amnesty International, When the State Kills, "the new parliament elected in April 1988 ... has yet to decide on the approvals and appeals procedure on the death penalty." [Amnesty International, When the State Kills: The death penalty: a human rights issue, New York: Amnesty International USA, 1989.] Amnesty International asserts that a separate Army Law exists, which may govern the treatment of deserters, but the organization has not been able to obtain a copy of this document.

Current information regarding the legal treatment of Afghan deserters or draft evaders is not available to the IRBDC. In a database search covering the period from March 1989 to present, only two articles mentioned the fate of deserters. In one, deserters from the Afghan army told reporters in March that "the authorities had ordered anyone who tried to escape across the lines to be killed" [Grant McCool, "Afghanistan's Battle-Scarred Boy Soldiers Desert to Rebels", Reuters, 19 March 1989.] A New York Times article from 7 May 1989 asserted that the Mujahedin were not popular because they "killed prisoners of war" [Donatella Lorch, "In Kabul, Guerrilla Underground Unites in Distaste for Najibullah", New York Times, 7 May 1989.] In a 1984 report, Amnesty International alleged that the death penalty has been applied for desertion or evasion of military service [Amnesty International, Summary of Amnesty International's Concerns in the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, (AI Index: ASA 11/07/84), 26 November 1984, p. 12, p. 2 appendix.] More recent information provided by Amnesty International contends that, "any deserter returning to Afghanistan would be in serious danger of possible execution. It is likely that a case -such as armed robbery - would be fabricated against them. Alternatively, the deserter might be extrajudicially executed by government authorities." [Amnesty International (London), 10 January 1990.] Further corroboration of this information is not currently available to the IRBDC.