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Tuesday, 7 May, 2002, 15:23 GMT 16:23 UK
Afghan activist's killers hanged
RAWA members hand out food aid
RAWA members help distribute aid in poor areas
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By Susannah Price
The BBC's Islamabad correspondent

Two men convicted of murdering the founder of a campaigning women's group have been hanged in Pakistan.

The men were found guilty of killing 30-year-old Meena Kishwar Kamal, who set up the Revolutionary Afghan Women's Association (RAWA).

Activists from the organisation protested against the Soviet occupation, then the warring mujahideen factions and finally against the Taleban, at great risk to their personal safety.

Afghan woman
RAWA fights for women's rights in Afghanistan
RAWA became internationally known during the Taleban rule, when its members organised protests calling for women's rights and an end to fighting by both sides.

Members risked their lives to secretly film a woman being executed by the Taleban in Kabul's sports stadium.

The founder of the organisation, Meena, set up RAWA in 1977, and two years later began campaigning against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

She also set up schools and a hospital for Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and visited several European countries to protest against Islamic extremists as well as the Soviet-backed government.

Dangerous work

RAWA members were forced to work undercover and many were arrested and killed by different Afghan regimes.

Meena was murdered along with two colleagues in the Pakistani town of Quetta, close to the Afghan border, during the Soviet occupation in 1987.

The two Afghans who confessed to the killing were originally arrested for driving a truck filled with explosives into Pakistan.

The prosecutor said the men were associated with the communist Afghan intelligence agency known as KHAD.

They were hanged in a prison 70 kilometres from Quetta after the Supreme Court dismissed their appeal and President Pervez Musharraf rejected their mercy petition.

RAWA has not yet made any comment on the hangings.

See also:

25 Sep 01 | South Asia
Afghanistan's clandestine army
08 Mar 02 | South Asia
Afghan women hope for breakthrough
08 Mar 02 | South Asia
Women's Day highlights Afghan plight
08 Mar 02 | South Asia
Afghans celebrate women's day
06 Feb 02 | South Asia
Afghan women return to study
23 Nov 01 | South Asia
Afghan women enjoy their freedom
27 Jun 01 | South Asia
Inside Afghanistan: Behind the veil
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